Members of the Latrobe Proactive Policing Unit handed out soft toys following interviews with Leongatha people who were either witnesses or impacted by yesterday’s fiery incident in the town. M021618

THE Latrobe Proactive Policing Unit established its mobile information centre in Leongatha last Tuesday, April 10 in the aftermath of the dramatic crash, fire, explosion, carjacking and chase in the town on Monday.
Meanwhile the alleged offender, apprehended by police after a long chase down the South Gippsland Highway, appeared in Latrobe Valley Court last week where he was remanded in custody.
Proactive Policing Officers Leading Senior Constable Jenni Bennett and Constable Tom O’Day met with dozens of people during the day, many of them witnesses to the incident or impacted by it.
They praised the actions of Woorayl Lodge staff and residents in safely evacuating the nearby aged care centre and also two passersby in particular who assisted at the scene.
Other emergency services personnel also came in for praise by police.
LSC Bennett spent more than an hour speaking to Woorayl Lodge residents and staff, who greatly appreciated the opportunity to ask questions about the incident.
“We’ve been able to collect a few details from people who witnessed the event and just wanted to have a chat and a debrief but this is mainly to reassure people that this was a very isolated incident. It’s not something we’ve seen in Leongatha before and we are unlikely to see it again,” Constable O’Day said.
But Constable O’Day said some people had been clearly affected by the incident and Proactive Policing Unit was able to offer support and where necessary, referrals to other agencies.
LSC Bennett said residents and staff at Woorayl Lodge had a lot of questions and it was an opportunity to reassure them as well.