Tributes are flowing for well known former police inspector Bill Weatherly, who died suddenly last Friday.
Mr Weatherly, 65, is remembered by many for his “larger-than-life” personality and his dedication to the western suburbs.
As a long-serving Wyndham inspector, Mr Weatherly implemented family violence units and introduced Justice of the Peace rosters at police stations.
He was an Australian Police Medal recipient and founder of the annual police verses Indigenous football match.
He sat on recruit selection panels and in 2002 created two administrative positions at Footscray police station where young recruits could work on a 12-month contract to gain on-the-job experience.
Police Association Victoria secretary Wayne Gatt offered condolences to Mr Weatherly’s family.
“Bill was a respected police veteran who was well known for his contribution to policing in the western suburbs,” Mr Gatt told Star Weekly.
“His legacy in life and in the job will live on through his family.
“He will be missed.”
Lalor MP Joanne Ryan said the community was “in mourning” after learning the news.
“To his family, his three beautiful children and former VicPol colleagues, my thoughts are with you at this time.”
Outside of his police duties, Mr Weatherly was also a coach for the North Footscray football club as well as a life-member and premiership player for the Melton Bloods football club.
Jason McCluskey, of North Footscray Football Netball Club, informed the Red Devils community of the sad news last week.
“Bill was a past coach and friend to many of the extended Devils community.”
James Hohepa-Smith, of the Victorian Moari Wardens, also paid tribute to Mr Weatherly.
“We all in the community mourn the loss of a great man who held the community groups and organisations in high regard especially to our Victoria Maori Wardens in Wyndham,” Mr Hohepa-Smith said.
“Thank you for your service and much Aroha [love] to your family and friends as we remember the great work he has made.”