WIMMERA police say attracting officers to the region can be a challenge.
But Acting Wimmera Superintendent Paul Phelan said once they arrived, retention numbers were strong.
Horsham Police Station has a low number of vacant positions.
“There are positions where there has been re-advertising to get the right candidate, but we are fortunate to not carry a high vacancy level,” Mr Phelan said.
Mr Phelan said a range of reasons could hinder the recruitment process.
“A struggle from time-to-time, which is not unique to Victoria Police, is people do not want to sell a house in Melbourne to come to the country and eventually return, because there is a higher median price,” Mr Phelan said.
The people usually applying are police officers who have experienced country policing and are not averse to that work.Paul Phelan
“Another reason is members being married and have children. There’s the complication of kids being in school and there is the challenge to make that step to the country.”
Mr Phelan said the Horsham Police Station was a dedicated training workplace for students of the police academy during the past 12 months.
He said a number of graduates had returned to Horsham for employment, which was promising.
Mr Phelan said the region had many smaller police stations including single-member stations at Apsley, Harrow, Natimuk, Rainbow and Jeparit.
Mr Phelan said attracting police officers from other regional stations was important because these members were familiar with the requirements of country policing.
“It is not just about attracting people from metropolitan areas,” he said.
“We recently had a vacancy at Edenhope and a member from another country location will join the team.
“When these jobs do come up, the people usually applying are police officers who have experienced country policing and are not averse to that work.”
Horsham police officer shares his journey
HORSHAM’S Aari Mellington has shared his journey that led him to a career in policing.
He shares his story ahead of Victoria Police’s information session later this month – part of its largest recruitment drive to see 3000 new officers by 2021.
Constable Mellington joined the police force two-and-a-half years ago after growing up with knowledge of the policing world.
“My dad (Peter Mellington) has been in the job for 22 years now and I always took an active interest,” he said.
Constable Mellington said a police officer’s job was very different to how it was portrayed through television shows.
“Television shows show the very best, or very worst part of the job – but that’s not always the case,” he said.
Constable Mellington said there were incidents that were highly stressful and there were also highly emotional jobs. But, at the end of the day, he said “genuinely helping” a person made the career worthwhile.
He said most police officers wanted to help people on a daily basis and make a difference in the community.
“A prime example was that I attended a job for a girl who was self-harming,” he said. “I was able to talk to her and find out what was going on and she was really struggling.
“I was able to get the help she needed through medical intervention and it genuinely helped and she genuinely appreciated the help we could give her.
“It is a time like this that shows us that we really do make a difference.”
Television shows show the very best, or very worst part of the job – but that’s not always the case.Aari Mellington
Constable Mellington said policing in regional and metropolitan areas had its differences.
“In metropolitan areas there is more hands-on policing, whereas in the country it’s about talking to people on a daily basis,” he said.
Constable Mellington encouraged people interested in a policing career to attend the information session at Horsham Golf Club on January 17 from 6pm and ask questions.
He said registrations could be made at policecareer.vic.gov.au.
“The recruitment process is not unachievable,” he said. “It is a hugely rewarding career, great fun and huge amount of career opportunities once you’re in the job.”
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