Pop­u­lar cop trans­fers to Wheat­belt

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Per­era

Ex­mouth po­lice­man Sergeant Alby Van Den Berg has this week left the idyl­lic blue wa­ters and white sands of the town af­ter more than two years at the helm of the lo­cal sta­tion.

Sgt Van Ben Berg has served as of­fi­cer-in-charge since 2014 but left early this week to em­brace a new lifestyle and chal­lenges at Dum­b­leyung sta­tion.

He said he had been en­thu­si­as­tic to join Ex­mouth po­lice upon ap­ply­ing more than two years ago but with the great lifestyle it af­forded it was not an easy po­si­tion to get.

“I was one of 14 ap­pli­cants,” he said.

“It’s very com­pet­i­tive, so you’ve got to have the runs on the board and demon­strate the abil­ity to do it.”

Sgt Van Den Berg said work­ing at a po­lice sta­tion in a coastal par­adise with a low crime rate meant his job in Ex­mouth had largely been about preven­ta­tive po­lice work and lay­ing down strong foun­da­tions with the com­mu­nity.

He said there has also been a lot of emer­gency man­age­ment in­volved, with cy­clone Ol­wyn be­ing a par­tic­u­larly mem­o­rable time.

“We cer­tainly don’t have the crime and an­ti­so­cial is­sues that the rest of the Pil­bara has, so we tend to be able to get on the front foot a bit more,” he said.

“You’ve got to build com­mu­nity re­la­tions ... and cer­tainly road polic­ing is a big part of what we do.

“We get bucket-loads of tourists each year.”

Sgt Van Den Berg said he was look­ing for­ward to the chal­lenge of work­ing on a new set of law en­force­ment is­sues in the Wheat­belt.

He thanked the Ex­mouth po­lice, the Shire, PCYC and com­mu­nity mem­bers for their help dur­ing his time in the role.

“I’m go­ing to miss Ex­mouth im­mensely,” he said.

“I’ve loved my time here and made some re­ally good friends. It’s dif­fi­cult not to love this place.”

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

Out­go­ing Ex­mouth po­lice of­fi­cer-in-charge Sergeant Alby Van Den Berg.

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