Those who knew him say Rod Kemp 'was a gentleman’
TRIBUTES have flown in from across the Rose City in memory of former Warwick detective Rod Kemp, who died of a suspected heart attack in Brisbane on Friday.
Detective Inspector Kemp served as the head of the Warwick Criminal Investigation Branch during the 90s and was a respected member of the community.
The esteemed police officer was returning to the Mt Gravatt police station on Friday for his retirement lunch when he died.
His death has sent shockwaves through the Warwick community.
Optometrist Paul Morrissey said he and Det Insp Kemp were "very close mates" when he lived in Warwick.
Both men had an unusual connection, in that they both had sons born on the same day in the same hospital in Brisbane.
The Kemp and Morrissey families each settled in Warwick at around the same time in the early 90s.
"He was the nicest man you'd ever meet - just friendly to everybody and would go out of his way to help people," Mr Morrissey said. "It's just a shock to everybody that somebody so nice could be taken."
Throughout his 37-year policing career, Det Insp Kemp climbed the ranks as a highly respected investigator, leading some of the state's biggest murder investigations.
He spent time in the homicide squad and ethical standards command.
Killarney police Sergeant Brad Doyle was a junior officer working at Mt Gravatt when he first met Det Insp Kemp.
He described the respected detective as "inspirational".
"He was someone, who although was a high ranking member, could talk to people across all ranks," Sgt Doyle said.
"He always had time to speak to junior members and always had concerns for their welfare and well-being."
Similar sentiments have been expressed by the Queensland Police Service, with Brisbane Region Assistant Commissioner Bob Gee paying tribute to Det Insp Kemp yesterday.
"Rod was the complete gentleman who took the time to listen and care for people," he said.
"He touched the lives of many as an experienced leader and investigator.
"My thoughts and the thoughts of the entire police family are with Rod's family and friends at this difficult time."
Insp Kemp would have turned 57 on Thursday.
He's survived by his wife and three adult children and their families.
His daughters played hockey in Warwick, which is where Warwick woman Sheryl Windle first met the family.
Mrs Windle coached his daughters and got to know the family quite well.
"He was an amazing man - a real gentleman," she said. "He was absolutely dedicated to his family - whenever he wasn't on the duty he was down at the hockey fields to support the kids. "It's not fair, he was a really decent man - it's a huge loss and really very sad."