By Charlene Macaulay, Alesha Capone and Benjamin Millar

Meet the western suburbs’ newest Superintendent.

Superintendent Therese Fitzgerald has taken the reins of the north-west metro division – which encompasses Wyndham, Maribyrnong and Hobsons Bay – from outgoing Superintendent Stuart Bateson, who has been promoted to Commander for the priority communities division.

Superintendent Fitzgerald, who joined the police force in 1993, most recently held the role of Superintendent for north-west metro region support services.

Over her 25-year policing career she has worked at a number of police stations before taking on roles in the drug squad, the centre for investigator training, the Victoria Police media unit and the coroner’s assistants unit – where she worked alongside the disaster victim identification team following the Black Saturday bushfires.

Between 2004-06 she was seconded to the Australian Federal Police’s international deployment group, where she worked in Papua New Guinea.

She also completed a law degree while working for the force, at one point working as a prosecutor in Dandenong and Melbourne before returning to front-line policing. She was promoted to Inspector in Knox in 2013, and received the rank of Superintendent in 2016.

Last year, she made the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, receiving the Australian Police Medal for her service.

“It’s been an amazing career for me, I’ve had lots of opportunities … my time out at Knox as the local area commander will really set me up well for working here.

“Whilst there are different issues in the east, front-line policing doesn’t really change.”

Superintendent Fitzgerald said preventing and investigating youth crime would continue to be a priority for the region, as would a renewed focus on road policing and non-family violence assaults – particularly in and around licensed venues.

“Local police had been very involved in [Ecoville] for some time … the positive with the media attention is that we got some really quick action [from other parties],” Superintendent Fitzgerald said.