It is a case of ‘like father, like son’.
Bridgewater on Loddon’s Lachlan Balazs has just graduated as a constable with Victoria Police and has two weeks before he begins work stationed in Melbourne.
So could there be any better idea than spending some quality time with his father?
Well, why not go on patrol with him?
Lachlan’s father, Leading Senior Constable Mick Balazs, is stationed in Bridgewater.
So on Monday Lachlan joined him for a one-off shift in the town they have both called home for years.
“It’s something we wanted to do, so I put the request in and yeah, here we are,” Lachlan said.
For Mick, the opportunity to share the shift with the media and community members they encountered allowed the pair to showcase careers and opportunities in law enforcement.
“People in the country can see Lachy, that he has grown up in a small town and become a policeman,” he said.
Victoria Police is in the middle of a recruitment drive, with plans to deploy officers across the state.
The force wants 2729 additional police deployed by July 2022. A total of 825 police should join the ranks in police stations in the 12 months from May.
The shift was a chance for Lachlan to hone skills in other work police might regularly attend. He and his father pulled over speeding drivers and issued tickets. They also attended the scene of hooning vehicles.
“This is my first shift since graduating. So it’s been fun being out with the old man, learning how to speak to people and doing the basics,” Lachlan said.
“I’m still very fresh, and still learning, but it’s been good fun getting out and chatting to people.”
Mick said his focus during the shift was imparting knowledge gained from experience.
“So we are doing some stuff that you can’t really do in the academy (except during placements), the routine stuff you can only really do when you hit the streets,” Mick said.
“When he hits his station this will be what he will be doing. He’ll be jumping in the divvy van with someone, going to jobs and pulling over cars.”
Mick is very proud of his son.
“It seems odd working with him. We went down to his graduation on Thursday and I got to present him with his certificate of ID (his badge),” he said.
“Not many people can say they worked a shift with their son or their father. It’s a unique thing to do, especially living and working in a little town like this.
“To me it’s sort of come full-circle. Lachy has grown up in Bridgewater, now he’s come back and worked a shift as a copper. It’s a very special achievement, I reckon.”