ALL of Ballarat’s single- officer police stations are now filled.
Each of the nine police stations once again has an active member, two years since there was last a full arsenal.
The latest addition, Leading Senior Constable David Kelly at Learmonth, completes the picture.
Ballarat Police Superintendent Andrew Allen said it was a good sign that police in towns surrounding Ballarat were at full capacity.
“We’re pretty happy about it. It gives Ballarat police that maximum capacity,” he said.
“It’s good having that police presence there. There is not a great deal of crime out there, but it’s still great to have the police presence.”
Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Ken Lay earlier this year committed to permanently maintaining all 99 one-officer stations across the state.
For Learmonth’s new law enforcer, years of experience as a town’s only police officer is certain to come in handy.
Leading Senior Constable Kelly has spent the past eight years in the Mallee region as the only officer at Woomelang, a town of just 180 people.
He has 25 years of experience in the police force in western and northern Victoria.
New to the Ballarat area, he plans to bring a similar country attitude to Learmonth.
“It’s about just letting people know you are around and talking with them. People normally do the right thing when you do that,” Leading Senior Constable Kelly said.
“I’ll have to do my homework and learn the locals and learn how to talk to the locals.
“Up north you talk to people about grain and crops. Now I’ll have to learn about sheep and cows.”
The veteran police officer is also keen to immerse himself in the Learmonth community as soon as possible.
He is due to play his first game of bowls for the town this weekend and hopes to become involved in the football club.
“It’s a new challenge and I’ll have to feel my way around, but I’m really looking forward to it,” he said.