What you need to know

On the front line: Moonee Ponds Acting Sergeant Jess Gaylard


At the moment a good day for Moonee Ponds Acting Sergeant Jess Gaylard involves four things – no crime, no illness, no exposure to Coronavirus and a few cinnamon doughnuts thrown in for good measure.

One of them is easier to achieve than the others.

Policing is a dangerous job at the best of times, and crime doesn’t stop because of a pandemic. Now officers have to contend with the extra pressure of COVID-19.

For Acting Sergeant Gaylard it means all jobs are treated with the possibility of exposure.

“As a supervisor, my role is to make sure my members are as safe as can be when attending to jobs,” she said.

That involves safety briefings to members at the start of shifts, assessing every call-out on a case-by-case basis and putting steps in place to try to mitigate risks.

In March, Victoria Police were given the power to issue on the spot fines to people and businesses ignoring the rules around self-isolation and social gatherings.

Acting Sergeant Gaylard said, for the most part, the attitude towards police had changed for the better.

“I find people are relying on us more than ever now and a lot of members of the public have been extremely supportive of the police and their local stations,” she said.

“It’s quite heart-warming to have people ringing up and offering to drop in food and supplies for the members to keep them going, it makes us feel very appreciated and supported.”

The frustration comes from the large number of people who still aren’t complying with the rules and regulations.

If there’s one thing Acting Sergeant Gaylard wants the community to know during this crisis, it’s this:

“Do the right thing, don’t be selfish,” she said.

“You may not feel your risk of getting coronavirus is very high, but that’s not the point, the greater risk is who you may pass it on to: your family, the elderly and the higher risk community members that may not have the best fighting chance.”

Moonee Ponds Acting Sergeant Jess Gaylard is one of our community members helping to #rallymooneevalley during the coronavirus State of Emergency. If you have a story of an individual or group rallying in the face of the outbreak, we’d love to hear about it. Simply register here, and submit an article.