Obituary – Sergeant James Coogans
SERGEANT JAMES COOGANS
LANARKSHIRE CONSTABULARY – 1969 to 1975
STRATHCLYDE POLICE – 1975 to 1999
I regret to inform you of the death of retired Sergeant James Coogans, who passed away peacefully, at St. Andrew’s Hospice, Henderson Street, Airdrie, at 5.30 a.m. on Monday, 27 August 2018,.
Jim was diagnosed with cancer in April 2017, news that Jim and his loving wife Aileen bore with dignity and determination to cope. Sadly, Jim’s health deteriorated, and he required to be admitted to the Hospice in July 2108. Both he and Aileen were heartened by the numerous visitors Jim received from friends and former colleagues, that brightened and enhanced his final weeks.
After leaving St. Patrick’s High School, Coatbridge, Jim became a butcher, but on 19 May 1969, approaching his 20th birthday, he joined Lanarkshire Constabulary and was posted to Mount Vernon/Baillieston. Jim took a pride in his appearance and was a very smart beat man.
His friendly and enthusiastic manner endeared him to his colleagues and made him popular with both his shift and the public. His enquiring mind and attention to detail saw him becoming a Trainee Detective Constable in December 1974, working through the amalgamation into Strathclyde Police in May 1975 and given the registered number 220506.
Jim was so successful that he was appointed Detective Constable at Shettleston on 18 August 1975. He thrived in the CID, a good team player, helpful, determined and hardworking, nothing was a problem to him.
It came as no surprise when he was promoted Patrol Sergeant in September 1978, stationed at ‘A’ Division Cranstonhill, Glasgow. Jim’s sound experience and maturity allowed him to make a positive impact on his shift, directing and advising his team; influencing and inspiring many young cops in a busy and varied environment.
In January 1982, Jim transferred to the Force Drugs Squad, then working from Turnbull Street, Glasgow. He joined a close-knit team who had their work cut out for them dealing with an increasing social problem that blighted many communities, the work was very challenging; the conditions encountered were not without personal risk whilst health and safety was not high on the agenda.
Jim took it all in his stride and was a loyal and trusted colleague. After his three year squad secondment, then stationed at Force Headquarters in Pitt Street, Glasgow, Jim transferred to Patrol Sergeant at ‘N’ Division at Cumbernauld, in November 1984, fair to say it was a bit of a culture shock, but Jim, as he always did, knuckled down and gave of his best. He was held in high regard by his shift and he gave them the benefit of his experience; many young cops received his wise counsel and were the better for it.
In September 1986, Jim was appointed Duty Officer at Cumbernauld, his firm and decisive approach left no room for ambiguity and was well received. In April 1987, Jim was assigned as Licensing Sergeant for ‘N’ Division, working from Divisional Headquarters at Coatbridge. This was a post to which Jim was extremely well suited and he made it his own over the next 12 years, becoming an expert in the field, recognised throughout the force, his guidance sought by many, a recognised authority who could stand his ground and argue his case with the best of them.
His tenure was only interrupted in May 1994, when he had a spell as Acting Inspector at Coatbridge, proving himself very capable, but his expertise in all things licensing probably made him too valuable a resource to move from the post and he worked there until he retired on 18 May 1999, after 30 years exemplary police service.
Jim will be remembered as a true gentleman who appreciated friends and colleagues. A very principled man, who had the courage of his convictions; an example of which was his refusal to attend at FHQ Pitt Street to receive his Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, his integrity meant more to him.
On retiring Jim lived in Spain for a few years, then, on returning to Scotland, he resumed working in a variety of roles, initially using his skills in licensing procedures to advise and assist the legal profession, working for Brunton Miller, Solicitors, Glasgow. He also worked with St Andrew’s Hospice and assisted in raising in the region of £250,000 for the charity. He then worked with Erskine Care Homes, fund raising for veterans, helping to make a difference to the lives of ex-military personnel and their families. He then worked as a Warden with North Lanarkshire Council and finally he worked for FACT – Federation Against Copyright Theft, completely retiring around 2012.
Jim enjoyed holidaying in his Caravan at Hunters Quay in Dunoon and numerous visits abroad. His other passion was Celtic Football Club.
He was a member of RPOAS Lanarkshire.
Jim is survived by his loving wife and best friend Aileen. He was a very proud father to his son Scott.