New Bendigo police inspector Brad Dixon will be keeping a keen eye on the city’s licensed premises but said he would not be making any widespread changes to how the Bendigo region is policed.
Inspector Dixon is set to start his new role on Monday after transferring from a similar position in Horsham.
The new commander – who will oversee all uniform based and general duties officers in Bendigo, Eaglehawk, Heathcote, Elmore, Raywood, Axedale and Goornong – said he looked forward to returning to work in the part of Victoria where his family is based.
“I have been living in the Bendigo area since 1996 when I was stationed at the one man police station at Tarnagulla,” he said.
After two years working one-up Inspector Dixon had stints in Shepparton, Maryborough, Ballarat and then Horsham.
“I’ve never worked at the Bendigo station,” he said.
“I’ve based myself here but I’ve been working in other areas, so I’m looking forward to working in my own community.
“I’m looking to get engaged with the community and I probably have missed out on that a bit here because I’ve been living in Bendigo.
“I know the area fairly well but I have to get across the intricacies of the local crime issues that go with any new posting.”
Inspector Dixon will replace Inspector Mark Edwards in what he described as “part of a rotation process”.
Inspector Edwards had been acting in the role since Inspector Gerry Rudkins’ battle with cancer in 2011.
“Every few years we get encouraged to change jobs with rotations,” Inspector Dixon said.
“The position had never been filled since Gerry passed away, Mark had been sitting in the role but it had never been officially filled.
“I was keen to come back to Bendigo so put my hand up and was lucky enough to get the job.”
Inspector Dixon said his main aim was to simply “make Bendigo a safer place to be”.
“I’ll be looking at things like licensing, because a lot of issues in any town are centred around alcohol,” he said.
“I know Bendigo has already had some terrific work done in that regard by Mark Edwards and Gerry Rudkins, so I want to build on that. I know Mark well and I had a lot of respect for Gerry.
“I won’t be making any widespread changes; I will just be assessing the lay of the land first.”
Inspector Dixon’s return to Bendigo will also mean more time spent with his wife and two children.
Outside the office he will be kept busy with duties at the Newbridge Football Netball Club where his children play and his wife is president.
“I’m hoping to stay in Bendigo for as long as I can,’ he said.
“I love the area and can’t see myself going anywhere else in a hurry.”