Police health campaign awarded

Acting Inspector Frank Bodor with his Divisional Commendation. 160026 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS

By Casey Neill

Greater Dandenong has two finalists in this year’s VicHealth Awards.
The Dandenong-based Alcohol Diversion Program is in the running for the Preventing Harm from Alcohol category, it was revealed on Wednesday 2 November.
The council’s All Nations Cricket for Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Migrants event is vying for the Building Health Through Sport award.
Finalists will join international and Victorian dignitaries in government and health promotion at an awards ceremony on Thursday 1 December where the winners will be announced.
The Journal reported on 7 October that the Alcohol Diversion Program earned Divisional Commendations for Spearheads Senior Sergeant Frank Bodor, now Acting Inspector, and Senior Constable Elyse Mason at the Victoria Police Southern Metro Region Division Three award ceremony on 4 October.
The program has engaged about 40 people, accounted for $600,000 in unpaid fines and cut drunk and disorderly offences by about 30 per cent.
“It started two and a half years ago when I was on the road at Dandenong and we experienced the same clients for offences of drunk and drunk and disorderly,” Act Insp Bodor said.
“We had no other alternative or options available to us other than infringement notices.
“We really weren’t addressing the issue at hand.
“We would introduce the program to the client. If they elected to participate, they would sign an agreement.”
The officer contacts the Sheriff’s department to identify outstanding fines and has those warrants listed at Dandenong Magistrates’ Court.
“They would be assessed by the treatment providers and have a treatment program modelled to their needs,” Act Insp Bodor said.
A return court date is set, where the treatment provider details the client’s progress.
“The magistrate would determine how long they would be on the program for, and wave fines,” he said.
“We’ve seen some remarkable health improvements.”