Carlton-born Mario Marcucci (20449) is known by many as the lovable larrikin that took Brunswick policing by storm.
Mario Marcucci joined the job in 1977 at the age of 26. The second oldest in his squad, he was sent to Broadmeadows following his graduation to start practical training and cut his teeth as a young cop.
Thrown into the deep end, Mario would quickly adapt to his new duties.
“His senior colleagues recognised a good operator when they saw one,” says John Stubbs, a fellow police veteran and peer support officer for Police Veterans Victoria.
Mario would quickly become called upon often for his proficiency in speaking Italian; something he says came as a great asset to him over his career.
“It was really beneficial when dealing with victims, and on some occasions offenders,” he says.
He notes Brunswick, Coburg and Northcote had numerous espresso bars and cafes at the time, where he’d often assist people in Italian.
Though his start in policing began during what Stubbs recalls as a period of social ‘othering’ for those of Italian descent, Mario remembers his experience as respectful and inclusive.
“If there was any sign of discrimination it was soon dealt with harshly by the person or his colleagues,” Stubbs says.
Mario recalls some of the biggest ‘name-callers’ of the time remain close friends of his to this day.
He says the job was not without its downsides, however. Like many police veterans, Mario was subjected to some of Melbourne’s most horrific crimes, including the Russell Street bombing and the Mad Max shooting; something he recalls he recieved little support for, after the fact.
“We all had our demons doing the job,” he says. “As a uniform member, I was continually told, ‘get on with it, it’s your job’ Sadly, there was no follow up on the members health.”
Despite his struggles, he looks back on his life in the job fondly.
“I look at myself as a survivor after just over 31 years of service,” he says. “I’m in my 14th year of retirement and enjoying my life with family, friends and former colleagues.
I had a great time in Victoria Police, with my fondest memory as a uniformed member at Brunswick, with great bosses and colleagues. I would change nothing.”