Taking over the role as Local Area Commander for Maroondah during a global pandemic has been no mean feat for Inspector Danielle Leemon.
But the 25-year veteran of Victoria Police has taken it all in her stride
“COVID has hampered my ability to engage with people face-to-face, which has been a challenge, but it has also shown me the strong sense of community there is in Maroondah.
“When people come together during these sorts of challenges it really brings out the best in all of us. We are seeing repeatedly that people are doing the right thing and staying home and looking after each other.”
Inspector Leemon said the community were also showing their support for those working on the front line.
“We have seen the most generosity from our community, which has really made us feel appreciated. We have had people drop in cards and flowers and show us other acts of kindness.
“It shows their appreciation and makes us feel thankful to our community, that they recognise that we are people underneath the uniform.”
Inspector Leemon joined Victoria Police in 1995, and over the past 25 years has led an exemplary career across many units.
“I started in general duties in the North West Metro region, then in 2000 I was seconded to the Australian Crime Commission. I’ve also worked in the Sex Offenders and Child Abuse Unit and in a specialist role in the Family Violence Unit in the North West Metro area.
“Throughout my career I have always gravitated to areas with a victim-centric focus. I find it very rewarding to help the most vulnerable and to get a successful outcome for them. You really can change people’s lives in the best possible way.”
In 2013, Inspector Leemon was promoted as a Senior Sergeant to the Transit Safety Division and later transferred to the Reservoir Police Station in 2016. She was then promoted to Inspector at the Road Policing Drug and Alcohol Section at Road Policing Command.
In her new position as Local Area Commander for Maroondah, Inspector Leemon will share her time between Croydon and Ringwood Stations.
“(Maroondah) is very community focused and there is a real positive engagement between police and the community,” she said.
To help gain a greater insight into the community’s views, Victoria Police has launched a new initiative called Community Connects.
The Victoria Police Community Connection Survey is an opportunity for residents to provide their views on safety in Maroondah and on how local police could become more engaged in the community.
“The feedback from the survey will help to identify some of the impacts and concerns in our community and how we can work together to address them.
“It will help us to be more agile and responsive to our community and to determine our priorities moving forward.”
Inspector Leemon said a priority for her was to ensure there was continued community engagement and to have a visible police presence around the retail precincts, industrial sections and local schools.
“I want to see our members out there having ongoing engagement with the community face- to-face. That is hard at the moment, but it is up to us to find new ways to engage through these restrictions and getting out and about is key.
Inspector Leemon encouraged people to follow the EyeWatch Facebook page for regular updates on local police matters.
“We do regular profiles on our Highway Patrol which demonstrates the great work being done to remove impaired drivers off the road. It also highlights the work that we are doing to tackle drugs in the area.”
To complete Victoria Police Community Connection Survey visit the Community Connection Project website. The survey closes 5pm, Monday 31 August 2020.