Pioneer Police Beat welcomes Mount Isa to a flag raising ceremony

POLICING ROCKS: Police Liaison Officer, George Leon, admiring his handiwork in front of the Pioneer Police Beat on Short Street, Mount Isa. Photo: Esther MacIntyre
POLICING ROCKS: Police Liaison Officer, George Leon, admiring his handiwork in front of the Pioneer Police Beat on Short Street, Mount Isa. Photo: Esther MacIntyre

Pioneer Police Beat will be raising its flags for the first time this Friday November 10 at 8.30am, and all members of the public are welcome.

George Leon, Police Liaison Officer (PLO) at Pioneer Police Beat, has been getting his hands dirty at the demountable on 55 Short Street.

The beat – which functions like a mini police station – was burnt down in 2015 by a 10-year-old arsonist, and replaced in January 2016.

Three flag poles have now been set into the lawn area in front of the building, where Officer Leon has created a beautiful rock garden.

George Leon, Pioneer PLO.

George Leon, Pioneer PLO.

“They put me over here one day, and I said, ‘Let’s do it up, make the community see it’. Because a lot of people driving around town don’t know its here," Officer Leon said.

Officer Leon said neighbouring schools have contributed personalised rocks with their own emblems and signatures.

“Some of the police and agencies have done rocks with their names, too. Maybe later on we’ll get some plaques put in there,” he said.

“The flags are here now, showing it’s a community police station. This area here is very busy all the time.”

As well as PLO Leon, the beat boasts two police officers; acting Senior Constable Kyle Dennison, and acting Senior Constable Amy Sewell.

“We do shifts. Sometimes day shift, sometimes night shift,” Officer Leon said.

"Amy does a lot of work with the schools. Sports, skipping competitions, drawing competitions.”

Another initiative to engage the local youth is ‘Chilling in the Park’, which brings children together at Minnie Davis Park on Thursday afternoons.

“We get a good crowd of kids there, most of them are aged from four to 12 years old so here’s a lot of little ones,” Officer Leon said.

“It gives them time out from their parents, we’re there and we give them a feed, and PCYC have set it up so after everything’s finished they get the kids to pick up five pieces of rubbish, and then they’re rewarded with an ice block, drink, or lollipop.”

“They may not even realise what they’re doing, but they’re cleaning up the park. A lot of people don’t even know this is happening each week.” 

Officer Leon said the Army has become involved, and will continue to work with them on youth engagement.

“The Army were there on Thursday, they brought down an Army vehicle and the kids were just all over it. Now they’ll try and get there as much as they can.”

It makes a nice change from just having police attend with the kids, Officer Leon said.

“Some of the kids are a bit shy of the police, but now they’re getting that bond, and this is what we want,” he said.

“We try and get some kind of rapport with them. Every PLO that goes there, they’ve got rapport with the kids. Some kids will take to different PLOs or different police officers.”

Officer Leon said he hopes if he can form a bond with children while they are young, it will make a difference to their behaviour and accountability when they are older.