Beaudesert Police Station's officer in charge leading COVID-19 challenges

TOP COP: Beaudesert Police Station's new boss is keen to engage with the local community. Photo: Larraine Sathicq
TOP COP: Beaudesert Police Station's new boss is keen to engage with the local community. Photo: Larraine Sathicq

BEAUDESERT police are facing the challenges of the COVID-19 threat head on, with the appointment of newly appointed officer-in-charge, Senior Sergeant Ken Murray.

The 25-year veteran of the Queensland Police Service came to Beaudesert from the Logan Police District Criminal Investigation Branch.

Senior Sergeant Murray said he had experience in rural policing, having spent time at Mareeba in far north Queensland as a plain clothes officer.

"Getting to Beaudesert Police Station, and the Beaudesert region as a whole has been has been a goal of mine for some time," he said.

"My career has afforded me so many diverse and incredible experiences, for which I am thankful.

"Becoming the officer in charge of Beaudesert is another experience I'm excited to explore.

"One of the many aspects of this role that initially attracted me was the level of personalisation that you can only really find in the smaller towns.

"I want the community to know me and I want to know them.

"Obviously, it's been a little challenging meeting the locals with the lockdowns in place, however I do look forward to meeting and talking with as many people as I can."

Senior Sergeant Murray said community engagement was important, especially in small country towns.

"Policing is a two way street, we can't prevent what we can't see," he said.

"I hope people do have the confidence and faith that I, and my officers, are here to keep our residents safe. We'd certainly rather prevent crime than solve it."

Senior Sergeant Murray said his attitude toward crime prevention had already shown results during his role with the Logan CIB.

After noticing a behavioural trend in knife crimes, the senior detective worked with local community groups, the local council and local indigenous elders to create the "I live my life without a knife" initiative, which had since been adopted in other areas of the state.

"To me, solving murders or armed robberies is no different to identifying crime trends and preventing those crimes from occurring," he said.

"The end result of both aspects of policing is society is a safer place to be.

"That's my goal and with help of my staff, we can make Beaudesert the safest and best place it can be."

Senior Sergeant Murray said Beaudesert police had extra police officers to help with operations at state borders.

"We have had no massive issues but we have turned people around and we have directed people to self-isolate. We have officers manning the borders around the clock," he said.

The officer in charge said while the Chief Health Officer's directives around social distancing may be easing over coming weeks, it did not give anyone licence to break the law or breach regulations still in place for the safety of all.

He commended local police officers for doing a good job in challenging times.

"It often goes unnoticed that while everyone is social distancing, our officers are putting themselves at risk of exposure to this pandemic," Senior Sergeant Murray said.

"Some restrictions may be lifted over coming weeks but I think the borders will be closed longer, so now is not a time to think you'll be able to hitch up your caravan and take a trip interstate."