The Limestone Coast has a new police superintendent with plans, as Campbell Hill officially takes over the role following the retirement of his predecessor Phil Hoff. Speaking to The SE Voice on his last day at the Mount Gambier police station, Superintendent Hoff said it was the right time for him to make way for a new breed of officer.
“Campbell Hill is an incredibly bright, enthusiastic, younger officer,” Supt Hoff told The SE Voice on Wednesday. “He’s one of the youngest superintendents in SAPOL and that shows the esteem that he’s held in by senior executives – our selections are based on merit, so he’s had to go through a very rigorous program to be selected.”
Supt Hoff – who retires from SA Police after 43 years of service, 14 years as a superintendent and 2.5 years as the Limestone Coast’s officer in charge – said it became apparent early in their time working together that Supt Hill had all the characteristics that were going to serve the community well.
“I’m really excited for the Limestone Coast community with Campbell being at the helm,” he said. Supt Hill has been shadowing Supt Hoff for the last two years and moves into the role from his prior position as the Limestone Coast’s operations manager.
Supt Hill, who brings experience as the officer in charge of major crash investigations and as a detective investigating major crimes, said he was ready for the role and that he intended to maintain a road and drug safety focus and roll out initiatives to build relationships with the community.
“I’m a big believer in that the community has to have a voice in telling us what the problems are,” Supt Hill told The SE Voice. “From our point-of-view, it is a big opportunity for us moving forward and there are initiatives that we’re going to be launching that will be specifically designed to ingratiate within the community and really get to the bottom of the issues in the community.”
Supt Hill explained he would aim to build day-to-day relationships between officers and the community so that people would not have to rely on whoever was in the police car on that particular day. “These will be known faces and known names that our community can ingratiate with,” he said. “People are going to have a direct contact with someone, in addition to all the existing contacts that we have. So, it’s really just about putting a local face and a local name to local problems.”
Supt Hill added while there were not many specific challenges the region faced, SAPOL had been working on rural crime trends like stock theft and victimisation on farms where equipment is stolen, which directly impacts people in the industry.