Burnett town with unmanned police station welcomes new cop
AFTER having an unmanned police station in Mt Perry for six months, the community has welcomed their new officer in charge with open arms.
Originally from East Gippsland in Victoria, senior constable Tom Mort is relishing his placement in the North Burnett.
Constable Mort arrived in the region two months ago with his wife Mallory and their son Parker, after moving from their home in Cairns.
Speaking at a community meet and greet in Mt Perry on August 1, Constable Mort believes his aspect of policing is more community based.
"In Cairns I used to be involved with the RSPCA, adopt-a-cop at the local daycare, and would often teach the kids about road safety and stranger danger," he said.
"I'm always looking to be engaged with the community in any way I can."
After having an unmanned station for close to six months, Constable Mort said the town is now at ease with a patrolling officer back on the beat.
"It'll give people peace of mind, even though this isn't a high crime area, it's still important to have someone stationed here around the clock," he said.
"Having a policeman drive around the area frequently will help everyone feel safer in their community."
After a stint in the army where he was deployed to Iraq, Constable Mort became a police officer in Brisbane, before moving to Cairns for three and a half years.
While he was there he met his wife Mallory, where they discussed the possibility of living in a regional community.
"Rural country policing has always been on the cards for us, as it's good life experience," Constable Mort said.
"It's not a drastic change of lifestyle for us, but it's something we really wanted to do."
While manning the Mt Perry station for the foreseeable future, Constable Mort believes education is the best way to help his community.
"Everything that police do is dependent on community engagement, and we're constantly promoting education," he said.
"Whether it's through farm safety week, school holiday road safety, or fatal free Friday, Queensland Police are always looking to prevent tragedies from happening.
"School holidays are always a big push for road safety as there are more road users, but if we can continuously look to promote it all year round, I believe it'll make a massive difference."
Mt Perry police station's opening hours will be on Wednesdays, 8.30am - 12.30pm.