Local policeman receives award

By Christine de Kock
FOOTSCRAY Police Sergeant Ian Brown was one of six Victorians awarded an Australian Police Medal on Friday.
Sgt Brown received his awarded for his work as Divisional Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator – a program that operates in the municipalities of Maribyrnong, Hobsons Bay, Brimbank, Wyndham and Melton.
A Victoria Police statement referred to him as a “committed, dedicated and hard working officer with a passion to help create a safer community”.
Sgt Brown, 58, said he grew up in Footscray and worked in the West for the past 40 years.
“I’ve stayed out here so long because of the people,” he said.
“It’s a great thing to see how diverse the cultures are out here and the fabulous contribution they make to our community.”
Sgt Brown became involved in the Neighbourhood Watch program in 1999.
He congratulated all those involved in the project.
“I’m really in awe of the commitment the volunteers make to the Neighbourhood Watch program – I dips me hat to them.”
Sgt Brown said that on a personal level he appreciated the opportunity his position offered him to talk with people in all levels of society. But he added that one of the challenges of the job was trying to get more people involved in the Neighbourhood Watch program.
“People don’t have to sign up to be a member of Neighbourhood Watch they can just keep their eyes open and ring 000 if they notice something suspicious.”
Senior Sergeant Bill Ritchie of Footscray Police congratulated Sgt Brown on his award.
“He is a highly regarded member of Footscray Police,” Sen Sgt Ritchie said. “He loves getting involved in the community and is really enthusiastic and keen to promote the Neighbourhood Watch program. The program is extremely important – particularly as the West has grown so quickly.”
Sen Sgt Ritchie said Sgt Brown was involved in innovative way to reduce crime such as working in shops to create a Neighbourhood Watch committee among shopkeepers.