Lakes Entrance Police Station has a new officer in charge.
Senior Sergeant Mel McLennan has taken over the duties from Snr Sgt Phil Bogle, who has retired from the force.
For Snr Sgt McLennan the posting to Lakes Entrance is a promotion.
She was previously a Sergeant at the Sale Police Station, where she worked with about 75 other uniform and plain clothes police officers.
Snr Sgt McLennan has been with Victoria Police since 2004.
Growing up in the Western District of Victoria on a sheep and cattle farm, Snr Sgt McLennan hadn’t initially thought about a career in the police force.
Ironically her father was a career police officer.
“Dad never really spoke about the job. We just grew up thinking Dad goes and catches the bad guys,” she said.
It wasn’t until Snr Sgt McLennan was retrenched from her job as a cabinetmaker that she thought she ought to find more secure work and so she enrolled in the Police Academy in April of 2004.
Initially working as a transit police officer riding the trains for 11 months, she landed in Ringwood where she spent the next six years before being transferred to Sale in 2010.
Snr Sgt McLennan was promoted to Sergeant at Sale in 2014 and last week started her new role of Senior Sergeant at Lakes Entrance.
While confessing to enjoying working the police van and “catching bad guys”, her new role at Lakes comes with added responsibility and accountability.
Overseeing three Sergeants and 15 other police officers, Snr Sgt McLennan’s role is largely managerial.
She is looking forward to working with East Gippsland’s Indigenous community, as well as the broader community, and strengthening relationships within the community.
Snr Sgt McLennan is also focused on supporting victims of crime and keeping people safe.
She describes the Lakes Entrance landscape as fairly similar to a lot of other places with petty crimes and more serious offences.
Taking drugs off the streets will be a priority.
Familiar with the area, Snr Sgt McLennan has had some experience policing here, particularly during the recent bushfire emergency in which she worked at both the Incident Control Centre and the Police Operations Centre in Bairnsdale.
While she will be commuting from her 100-acre property to her new job, Snr Sgt McLennan is keen to engage with the local community.
She is already a big fan of Lakes Entrance’s fish n’ chips, which she describes as “the best in Victoria”.
Snr Sgt McLennan believes the Lakes Entrance community is kind at heart, demonstrated by the flood of flowers, cards and boxes of doughnuts the police station has been receiving in the wake of the tragic deaths of four police officers on a Melbourne freeway recently.
“We are so appreciative of the community support for us during this incomprehensible tragedy and it’s really touching to know that our community cares,” she said.
IMAGE: Senior Sergeant Mel McLennan took over as officer in charge at Lakes Entrance Police Station last week. K286-6048
Trafficking charges laid
East Gippsland and Lakes Entrance police seized a traffickable quantity of methylamphetamine and cannabis, as well as a large amount of cash, during a drug warrant executed in the last week.
Three people were arrested and charged with multiple offences, including drug trafficking, drug possession, and dealing with the proceeds of crime as part of the investigation.
A 33-year-old female from Lakes Entrance was charged with seven offences, including trafficking methylamphetamine and cannabis, possessing methylamphetamine, cannabis and prescription drugs and dealing with proceeds of crime. She was remanded and will appear in Bairnsdale Magistrates Court on May 13.
A 26-year-old Lakes Entrance man was charged with three offences, possessing methylamphetamine, possessing MDMA and possessing prescription drug. He has been bailed and will appear in Bairnsdale Magistrates Court on August 5.
A 19-year-old man from Lakes Entrance was also charged with one count of possessing methylamphetamine. He has been bailed and will also appear in Bairnsdale Magistrates Court on August 5.
East Gippsland Crime Unit detectives joined forces with Lakes Entrance uniform officers to execute the warrants at several addresses in the Lakes Entrance area.
Approximately 29 grams of methylamphetamine and 460 grams of cannabis was allegedly seized along with $3660 in cash.
Detective Senior Constable Brendan Keane said the arrests were the result of a lengthy investigation into the trafficking of drugs in the local community.
“These arrests are assisting to keep the community as safe as possible and have removed a significant quantity of drugs from the streets of East Gippsland,” he said.
“We would also like to thank the community who’ve provided invaluable information that allowed us to apprehend these alleged offenders.”