The relatively new, state-of-the-art VICPOL station at 12 Vincent Street Daylesford is designed to facilitate the all-important “country community policing” that the Officer-in-charge, Sergeant Ryan Newman says is a role that he and his staff prioritise.

Who are they?  Sergeant Ryan is one of three Sergeants in the VICPOL Hepburn Cluster, with the other two based in Creswick and Trentham.  The area they cover stretches from Drummond North, to Creswick, to the outskirts of Ballarat.

The Daylesford Station has six staff.  They have 2 Leading Senior Constables and two Senior Constables.  They are a very experienced group, ranging from a minimum of five years to 16 years on the job.  Sergeant Newman himself has spent 14 years in the Force.

Operations.  The Station is open for 16 hours a day, staffed usually by two officers on shift.  Of course that means that sometimes when those officers are called out to an event, the Station is unmanned and they must be contacted remotely.  During the other 8 hours, police presence can be obtained through the usual police numbers with officers responding ‘on call’.

They have recently received a swept-up, brand new 4-wheel drive vehicle to provide vital assistance in search and rescue activities for the relatively frequent missing persons in surrounding bushland, the Werribee Gorge and on and around the Lerderderg Track (about one a month).  They also have the only ‘divvy van’ in the region.

What they do.  The Daylesford Police carry out the normal activities of any busy Station, including Highway Patrols and Road Policing.  In our region, by far the most frequent responses are for domestic violence offences and mental health events.  There are a surprising number of car thefts (almost invariably of unlocked cars and cars with the keys left in the ignition!!)

Multi-agency.  Sergeant Newman is the local Municipal Emergency Response Coordinator (MERC), which means that for any major emergency he is responsible for the coordination of the efforts of all the local emergency services.  Daylesford is fortunate that all agencies work very closely and cooperatively when required, and they exercise those processes regularly.  It’s well known that this region’s most common threat is from bushfire, although recently, floods and storms have been the focus.  For these events, VICPOL’s operational responsibility is to manage evacuations and traffic management.

Daylesford Police have a very broad role in the community and it is this relationship with their local community that they work very hard to strengthen on a daily basis.

Related Stories:

This is the fifth in a series of articles we have published to highlight the organisations that protect our communities from disasters.

Catastrophic Fire in Hepburn and Daylesford – But Only a Simulation
Daylesford’s State Emergency Service (SES)
Daylesford’s Emergency Services – The Ambos
Daylesford’s Emergency Services – Country Fire Authority (CFA)