A large crowd attended a new-look Pioneer Police Beat on Friday, November 10, for a special flag raising ceremony.
Members of Mount Isa Police, the Army’s Far North Queensland Regiment 51st Battalion, Ngukuthati, headspace, Young People Ahead, and Mount Isa Men’s Shed were present.
Three flag poles have been set into the lawn area at the miniature police station at 55 Short Street, where Indigenous Police Liaison Officer (PLO), George Leon, has created a beautiful rock garden.
Mr Leon welcomed the community and explained that he wanted to come together on the issue of disengaged youth.
“I’m just trying to prove that we can work together. The Major (Jeremy Barraclough) is here, and he has got ideas. If you’ve got juveniles, and you need to talk, he’s going to help,” Mr Leon said.
“Russell, the manager of Kmart, is also here, and he has ideas on the issues we are facing.”
School students contributed rocks to the garden with their own emblems, and helped to raise the flags.
“The flags are why we are here. And the school kids are why we are here,” Mr Leon said.
Officer in Charge, Senior Sergeant Renee Hanrahan, thanked Mr Leon for organising the event.
“The new Pioneer beat was restarted in early 2016, so we’ve been down here for some time.
“We have recently had PLO George Leon move down here and work in a more permanent role, from the beat,” Srg Hanrahan said.
“In his short time here, he has identified an initiative that goes towards what we are trying to achieve; with that ownership in the community, and engaging with the community wherever possible.”
Mr Leon had previously mentioned ‘Chilling in the Park’, an initiative of Sergeant Gina Scott and her team at PCYC.
Srg Hanrahan said Chilling in the Park has increased the opportunities for positive engagements with local youth.
“Because of the locality here at Pioneer Police Beat, we do it in Minnie Davis Park, just around the corner,” she said.
“It’s engagement with the children, it’s giving them the opportunity to see Police in that positive light, and engage them in a positive way.”