By Rebecca Fraser
THE streets of Endeavour Hills are now much safer following the arrival of new officers at the suburb’s police station.
On Sunday, 8 January the Heatherton Road station became manned 24 hours a day and Sergeant John Blackburn of Endeavour Hills police said the new arrivals and roundtheclock coverage had made a big impact.
“The new numbers have allowed us to go 24hours and provide a stronger police service from Sunday to Sunday.
“The area is now a lot safer and has also impacted on decreasing the number of hoons in the area,” he said.
Sgt Blackburn said criminal damage was also on the decline following increased street patrols.
“Early week problems are on the decline because we have these increased numbers and more of a presence on week nights.
“Criminal damage to letter boxes and other things being kicked over has really dropped off on Sundays and Monday nights because we are out patrolling.
“The Doveton pool was having problems with kids getting in at night or after hours and now the increased numbers enable us to patrol hotspots like that,” he said.
Sgt Blackburn said the increased police numbers enabled members to respond earlier to instances of domestic and even neighbourhood violence before the issue escalated further.
He said the new arrivals had blended well into the tight knit group of officers and had become part of an even stronger team.
“Because we were operating 16 hours a day we were very close knit and since we expanded and became 24 hours we have new members and half a dozen trainees.
“Everyone has accepted the new members and have worked in with them and helped them develop and everyone is working to a very good standard.
“For the level of time they have been here you can trust them to go out and get the job done without having to look over their shoulders.
“Now we have a really good mix of officers,’ he said.
Constable David Lee arrived at the station in January after undergoing five weeks’ training on booze buses throughout Victoria and another week of training at Police Headquarters learning to direct traffic.
He said the past month had been a challenge but very rewarding.
“It has been excellent and a real eye opener for me.
“It has been a real challenge and very interesting,” he said.
By Rebecca Fraser