BEING a good listener is an important part of policing and Riverside's Laurie Leaver is set to receive a national medal after decades of helping people across the state.
Mr Leaver, 81, retired in 1996 from Tasmania Police. He joined in 1956 (with a four-year break early on) and retired with the rank of inspector.
He is now eligible for the National Police Service Medal, which recognises 15 years of ethical and diligent service by Australian sworn police officers in active service.
Until recently, police whose service finished between February 14, 1975 and October 2008 were ineligible, but the federal government has extended the eligibility.
Mr Leaver and his wife, Barbara, said the medal would be an honour.
He said policing was ideal work for him and being a good listener was important in the job. When he walked the beat in Launceston people would come up and talk and often just wanted a sympathetic ear.
Other times, when he was working as a detective, allowing people to talk long enough would give him the information he needed.
Bass Liberal MHR Andrew Nikolic urged eligible police to apply for the medal.