HOPETOUN has a new police officer, bringing the town's police station back to a full staff.
Senior Constable Anna Lake has returned to her country roots.
Born and raised in Barham, on the NSW side of the Murray River, she built her policing career in the city.
She spent eight years on the beat in Melbourne with more than two of those years with the Moonee Valley Crime Investigation Unit.
Sen Const Lake said she was drawn to the role in Hopetoun from the moment she saw it advertised.
"I've always wanted to come back to the country," she said. "I saw this spot advertised and made a few calls, and it sounded perfect.
"It's a bit closer to home, as well. It's two hours now, instead of four."
Sen Const Lake is keen to build a life for herself in Hopetoun.
"I've played netball since I was seven," she said.
"I'm recovering from a knee reconstruction and looking forward to getting back into it next season, hopefully."
She is making a point of introducing herself in the community, from school visits to informal chats with whoever she encounters.
"It's like people have known you for years already," she said.
"They're willing to stop and have a chat."
Sen Const Lake's policing passions include minimising the harm of alcohol and other drugs on communities.
"Working in the city, I would have seen quite a bit of the destruction it's had there," she said.
She appreciated the importance of Hopetoun's community ice forum on Tuesday, which attracted 150 attendees.
"I want to continue on with that - the discussions and public information - in the schools particularly," she said.
Sen Const Lake said she would also encourage people to keep an eye out for any strange vehicles using the main highway as a route for transportation of drugs in and out of country communities.
Hopetoun was temporarily down to a one-man station before Sen Const Lane arrived.
Senior Constable Irene Guest transferred to Speed Police Station, leaving a position vacant.