A new policeman is in town and judging by his smile, he is pleased to be here.
Senior Sergeant Darren McGrillen has been appointed Cobram police station commander and is also settling into his new role as manager of Moira LGA police stations.
Sen Sgt McGrillen said he was happy with his move after serving in Benalla.
‘‘Cobram has been great,’’ he said.
‘‘The people here are welcoming. They’ve been fantastic — they are hardworking and it’s a great town.
‘‘I have lived in Moira Shire now for the last 5 years. It’s a great area to live. They’re great people around here.’’
Sen Sgt McGrillen recognised there were local challenges and said he was sure that in time some of those could be addressed.
‘‘I’m keen to work with the community. I’m keen to work with the media,’’ he said.
‘‘I love working in the rural environment and dealing with the many challenges specific to rural policing, which you are a bit oblivious to in the city.
‘‘The challenge of providing a policing response that meets the expectation of the community is one that I look forward to.
‘‘I understand the importance of working closely with the other police units, like the Criminal Investigation Unit and Highway Patrol, and continuing that strong relationship that currently exists.
‘‘I built some great relationships in the last 5 years in Benalla with external organisations in emergency management, with the media, at the Benalla Ensign, and I’m keen to build and foster those relationships here locally as well.
‘‘I think it’s important we all work together so Cobram continues to be a great place and a safe place to live.’’
Sen Sgt McGrillen said Cobram police aimed to work in partnership with the community and local organisations like the council, the CFA, Ambulance Victoria, SES and all emergency organisations.
‘‘My focus is the safety and wellbeing of my staff and the community, building and maintaining strong community relationships and partnerships, providing a high level of customer service and working with the community to make Moira a safe and great place to live and work,’’ he said.
‘‘There’s people with great experience and from different backgrounds here within the police station in Cobram and from other police stations around Moira Shire that are doing a great job.
‘‘My job is to support them to support the community.’’
Despite the busy nature of his job, the long-suffering St Kilda supporter still finds time to relax.
‘‘Currently golf is my main pastime — I am a member at Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort,’’ Sen Sgt McGrillen said. ‘‘I grew up in Berrigan, so I played Cobram-Barooga quite a bit.’’
He recalled his best round as about 80-85 many years ago.
‘‘I’m playing a little bit better now in Yarrawonga. I’ve had a pretty good run,’’ Sen Sgt McGrillen said.
‘‘I enjoy walking the fairways of the beautiful, challenging courses the Murray region has to offer and I am a horse racing enthusiast and I enjoy some of the fine food and wine the region has to offer.
‘‘I grew up enjoying all sports and loved watching all sports, including local football, but because I am playing golf I tend to get to the golf on Saturdays rather than the local football, but I’ve definitely still got an interest in it.’’
Sen Sgt McGrillen joined Victoria Police in 1989, then worked in busy inner and north-suburban police stations for 22 years in operational policing before moving to Benalla as one of the station managers.
‘‘I look forward to getting out and about in the community, so if you see me please come and introduce yourself,’’ he said.
- Grahame Whyte