Queensland top cop swaps Brisbane for the bush

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Les Hopkins when he was superintendent at the Mount Isa Police Station in 2008.

HE was one of Queensland’s top cops, now Les Hopkins is putting his Brisbane home on the market to focus on Australian campdrafting.

The former chief superintendent for Brisbane’s Metropolitan North Region, Mr Hopkins retired in 2011 after 32 years in the Queensland Police Force.

Chief superintendent Les Hopkins in a 2010 press conference.

He was police commander for the Gabba and has a signed shirt from Ricky Ponting for his command of the Ashes Test Series that became a model of best practice in Australia.

Inspector Les Hopkins in 2006 with Gabba manager Chris Cochrane explaining new bag restrictions for the Ashes Test. Picture: Nathan Richter.

He was police inspector for the Port of Brisbane, in charge of Suncorp Stadium, New Year’s Eve and Riverfire events in Brisbane, and he was also Mt Isa’s top cop.

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The renovated Queenslander that Mr Hopkins bought with his wife Ginny in 2011 was put on the market this week.

The four-bedroom house that has been home to the Hopkins family since 2011.

The story of Mr Hopkins’ extensive police career is told in the many hundreds of police badges and caps on display in the custom-built mancave of his northern suburbs Queenslander.

“That’s the only part I’m upset about leaving,” Mr Hopkins said.

The mancave that displays Mr Hopkins’ extensive collection of police memorabilia.

“The room tells the story of my life from a young police officer to my senior role as chief superintendent.

He has a collection of navy badges and caps from his job as the police inspector for the Port of Brisbane where he was required to greet the US navy ships that came to town.

“The hat collection is mainly from the US, my wife is American born, and there’s shoulder patches from pre-911,” he said.

“After that the US law enforcement agencies tightened up who could get their hands on patches.”

And he has a State of Origin jersey signed by all the Maroons players that his work colleagues presented to his wife when she had brain surgery 16 years ago.

But Mr Hopkins, who grew up on a cattle property near Dalby, is now keen to focus on his horses, and he and his wife are moving to a property west of Rockhampton on the central Queensland coast.

“I’ve started competing in campdrafting and we’re going up and down to Rockhampton and living on the property so we’ve finally decided to buy our own property which is 10 minutes from my brother so we will own property and the horses will be with us.”

He said campdrafting is one of Australia’s fastest growing sports but with severe drought conditions in much of Queensland, several competitions have been cancelled this year.

Campdrafting involves ‘cutting’ a cow from the pack and steering it through an obstacle course to demonstrate control of the beast. Picture: Sue Jones, Australian Campdrafting Magazine.

“Campdrafting is affected by the drought right now, the cattle are too weak and you don’t want to risk knocking them around. It’s a unique sport in that a lot of things must line up to be successful,” he said.

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