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Police out in force

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THE BOYS and girls in blue were out in force at Cannonvale’s Whitsunday Plaza Shopping Centre, on Thursday.

This was no bust or arrest, however, it was an exercise in meeting the public and spruiking the benefits of joining the police force.

The recruitment drive formed part of the annual ‘Coffee with a Cop’ day, which attracts dozens of people every year, all eager to chat to the police about a wide range of issues, from home security to what you should do if you witness a crime.

Plenty of people were also checking out the police vehicle parked in the centre.

What’s more, the day comes with doughnuts and a free coffee, courtesy of Whitsunday Plaza Shopping Centre.

Organiser Sgt Billy Li and his team from the PCYC rallied everyone together, with two main stations set up – one for recruitment and one for ‘Braking the Cycle’ – with numerous police officers dotted around the centre handing out coffee vouchers.

The award-winning ‘Braking the Cycle’ program was launched in June, after PCYC Queensland secured funding from TMR’s ‘Community Road Safety’ grant program.

The PCYC Whitsundays program is designed to support learner drivers who don’t have access to a supervisor or registered vehicle to complete their logbook hours.

It depends on volunteers, who mentor the learner drivers and provide encouragement, with the aim being to provide them with increased employment opportunities, community connection and driver education, including positive road safety attitudes.

“As a volunteer-based program, we rely heavily on the generosity of our local community to give their time to help the participants on their driving journey,” the PCYC’s Sgt Billy Li said.

“Comprehensive training and support is provided and all driving sessions are conducted in PCYC registered and insured, ANCAP 5 rated vehicles.”

Some of the mentors were there at the ‘Coffee with a Cop’ day, along with the program’s ambassador, Declan Coull, as well as two staff members and five volunteers to help things along.

Also present were 14 police officers representing a wide range of different careers in the police force, from being part of the water police, through to training to be a dog handler or specialising in computer crime or forensic services, and much more.

If you would like to join the ‘Braking the Cycle’ program as a mentor, please call Sergeant Billy Li on 4948 1144 or email whitsunday@pcyc.org.au.

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