STAWELL - Stawell Police have welcomed an influx of new recruits over the past four months and with more on the way, it will result in the station being close to full capacity.
Senior Sergeant Warren Groves said six new members had arrived at the station since November last year, another new officer would commence duties next month, while there were three other strong candidates to arrive at Stawell over time.
"This will see the Stawell station at close to full capacity, which would be a monumental turnaround from circumstances last year," S/S Groves said.
"I am extremely pleased with having the ability to serve the community better and it will also give support to our longer term members who have been here through the more difficult times as well."
S/S Groves said it was not uncommon for emergency services such as police, to have a regular turnover of members. The difficulty Stawell faced over the past 12 months was attracting new recruits in order to fill the voids left with having members move on or take leave of any kind.
However, that has all changed and Stawell is now showing the ability to attract new recruits and have members who have worked here in the past, return.
"There is always that ebb and flow effect in emergency services, but at the moment we seem to be well placed to cover the fact people might be leaving," S/S Groves said.
"When members do move on, they will be covered by those people who have expressed strong interest in coming to Stawell.
"Those members coming here have done their research on Stawell too. There is a common theme there that all members were very impressed with the town. They like the look and feel of the township and the facilities the Stawell and district offer. This includes the countryside, lakes, Halls Gap and the Grampians, camping facilities and much more.
“With the advent of the internet and other tools, there are quite a few enquiries that people can now make about a region, so all these members have made a very informed decision to come here.
“The natural attributes of the town, the long term strategies put in place prior to my arrival and the hard work of members on recruiting since I have arrived, have very much improved our staffing situation at Stawell.”
S/S Groves said this was certainly a positive as far as community policing was concerned.
“Having extra resources available translates to more patrols on our streets, more foot patrols, more special duties patrols and more police vehicles on the road,” he said.
“I am extremely pleased to be in a position to offer this greater delivery of policing services to the town of Stawell.
“Everyone put a great deal of effort into recruiting and advertising the natural benefits of the town and we are now seeing the results of that hard work.”
S/S Groves said the other pleasing aspect of the latest round of recruiting, was the fact that it wasn’t all new recruits fresh from the Academy.
“We have been able to attract a good mixture of experience levels and seniority levels,” he said.
“It’s not just a bunch of new recruits that have arrived. We have a Leading Senior Constable with plenty of experience, right down to those who are new to the job. There are people who have worked here before and come back, people who have lived in the area before and those who are here for the first time.
“That’s what has been really pleasing about our recruiting, as these attributes add well into the station mix. I’m very pleased with that and it’s a good thing for this town.”