The Bendigo Proactive Policing Unit has refocused its efforts to focus on youth at risk of offending or being victimised.
A team of nine, including a sergeant and five officers in Bendigo and one officer each in Gisborne, Echuca and Maryborough, also works with other agencies to identify children at risk.
Inspector Tim Cron said the early intervention can help get youths away from offending.
"The unit has been around for a while but in the last three to six months we have really changed the focus," he said.
"When you talk about pro-active members, people think of that community engagement of going to fetes, schools or events. We have moved away from that to kids who are having issues.
"But the team really changed to focus on kids at risk. They may be out of home or subject to family violence and we try to intervene and get them back into school or programs that can assist them.
"The other part is kids that are already in justice system. We have two youth specialist officers in courts dealing with the kids already in trouble. It's about trying to get them out of that system."
Inspector Cron said getting to know the at-risk youths in Bendigo was an important part of the unit's job.
"The teams spend a lot of time where the kids gather and get to know them and their families and see what we can do and how we can help," he said.
"Community feedback is important (but) just because young people are congregating doesn't mean they're offending. The broader question is why are they congregating or causing issues?"
Bendigo Proactive Policing Unit also collaborates with other organisations such as Child Protection, Anglicare, McKillop, Youth Justice, Education and the courts to identify and help youths.
Inspector Cron hopes the unit can grow with success.
"If you look at areas in Melbourne, similar teams are really growing," he said. "In Bendigo, with the population growth, (we expect) our team to certainly grow.
"We see that as a positive. If we can intervene early, get the kids away from offending and get them into programs or school, that's a positive."