17 Aug 2017

Stewart joined ACT Policing as Constable Kenny's handler in 2002 and dedicated countless hours to educating thousands of children on how to stay safe in the Canberra community.

During Stewart's time with the program we saw Constable Kenny have a complete makeover, and he also welcomed new friends; Cassie, Tilly, Ellie and Kev into his world.

During his career Stewart has been recognised for his dedication and promotion of the program. In 2015 Stewart was awarded the Commissioners Commendation for Conspicuous Conduct. In 2012 Stewart received the AFP Service medal for 10 years of service and that same year he was nominated for the Australia Day Medal, and received the Australia Day Achievement Medallion. These awards are a testament to Stewart and reflect the high regard AFP places on the work he has done with the program.

After 15 years as Constable Kenny's right hand man, Stewart said he was most looking forward to writing the next chapter of life with his wife Rose and has two overseas holidays planned for the remainder of the year.

Chief Police Officer for the ACT Justine Saunders spoke of the legacy Stewart leaves and how he became a much loved Canberra icon in the eyes of kids and adults alike.

"Stewart is not only a valuable member of ACT Policing but he is also a well-known and popular figure in the Canberra community. Many generations remember fondly Stewart and Constable Kenny visiting their school. 

"On behalf of ACT Policing, the AFP and wider community I would like to thank Stewart for his dedication and commitment for the past 15 years and we wish him all the best in his retirement," Assistant Commissioner Saunders said."

When approached for comment Constable Kenny expressed his gratitude towards Stewart for his years of friendship and service.

"Stew has been my handler, colleague and best friend for nearly 15 years. While it's difficult to say goodbye, we've done some great work together over the years and I know Stew has a lot of fun plans for his retirement."

"I want to thank Stew for always believing in me, even when others said I was just a puppet. He's always been there to lend a hand and I could not have done my job without him. Stew, I wish you all the best," Constable Kenny said.

As Stewart reflected on his time with the AFP, his parting message was that although he has loved engaging with the community and the kids of Canberra, it is the relationships he has built with colleagues that will stay with him the most. In Stew's words, "you meet by chance, but you are friends by choice".

"I am extremely proud to have been a part of the Constable Kenny program and to have been able to assist in moving the program forward with the times.

"To have seen the effect the program has had and continues to have on the thousands of children Constable Kenny has spoken to, is an achievement of which I am grateful to have been a part.  To be honest just to see the delight on the children's faces when we visit is magic in itself.

"As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end, and it is a little sad to say that this is mine because I am retiring. I will miss the little fella because we have had some fantastic times together".

We will profile Constable Kenny's new handler in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.


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