Collie cop farewells community

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Jackson BarrettSouth Western Times
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Officer in Charge of the Collie Police Station, Heath Soutar, is moving on, as his four year stint at the station comes to an end.
Camera IconOfficer in Charge of the Collie Police Station, Heath Soutar, is moving on, as his four year stint at the station comes to an end. Credit: Jackson Barrett

Collie’s top cop, one of the town’s most popular figures, is leaving town, as his stint in charge of Collie police comes to an end.

Sen. Sgt Heath Soutar, pictured, known for forming a strong bond with the people of Collie through his engaging use of social media, is set to leave his role as the town’s officer-in-charge after nearly four years.

The maximum term of four years for an OIC means Sen. Sgt Soutar and his young family are heading to the Central Wheatbelt town of Merredin.

The self-proclaimed “city boy” says he could not see himself returning to Perth after a couple of stints in country towns.

“It is a very close-knit community and a good community,” he said.

“I have no intentions of going back, it is far too much hustle and bustle and in the city you can get lost, in a way you are just another number, or a uniform.

“In the country you can have an impact, people get to know you and you form relationships in the community and with the key stakeholders.”

Sen. Sgt Soutar said he loved living and working in the region after moving to the mining town from Laverton.

“Every country town has its issues these days and Collie has been no different, we have had crime spikes in certain areas and in certain times we have tried to address with our resources and additional resources and I’d like to think, as a team, we have done a pretty good job,” he said.

“After three and a half years, if people think the Collie Police Station brand has done a good job I’ve done my role.”

He also said social media was an important part of policing.

“We have got to let people know what is happening and I have found that is the best way,” he said. “Quite often misinformation can be put out there by people and we need to try and stop that.”

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