PSOs excited to get started in Bendigo

RELATED STORY: Commuters welcome PSOs with open arms

PROTECTIVE services officers were thrilled to begin their duties at Bendigo Railway Station on Tuesday night.

Three of Bendigo's five new PSOs patrolled the station for the first time from 6pm until after midnight.

Troy Davies, who lives in Bendigo, said it felt "fantastic" to be on his first shift in the city.

"I'm from Bendigo and it feels great to be working in your own town and looking after your own backyard,'' Mr Davies said.

"It's good experience and I like the interaction with people. They love us. It makes them feel a bit safer that we're here."

Colleague Monica Annal said commuters had received the officers well.

"So far everyone has been accepting of us," she said.

"There have been a lot of problems with drugs and young people abusing people. 

"So people are happy to have us here."

Miss Annal has recently moved to Heathcote and said it was good to be able to work close to home.

"Since I was little I wanted to be a police officer," she said.

"There was a backlog of police recruits when I applied so I did this instead. I'm loving it. It's good hours and you get to mingle more with people."

All five officers have been working for 12 months, including three months of on-the-job training in Melbourne's CBD. Before that they spent 12 weeks at the Victoria Police Academy.

Sergeant Eddy Barake of the Transit Police is in Bendigo for the week to help the officers settle in. 

They will be based at Bendigo Police Station and will work with police there but the Transit Police oversee the protective services officer program.

"We give them an introduction to transit and city policing and organise their deployment," Sergeant Barake said.

"They are the public face at the station and the have the same powers as police within the precinct," he said.

"But if they come across someone who needs more than speaking to and a penalty notice they will hand it to police to handle prosecution."

Penalty notices incur a fine and can be issued for a range of offences, including smoking and anti-social behaviour.

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