Bundaberg Patrol Group has added a new vehicle to its fleet, with Paddy the mini police car giving children the opportunity to learn more about the local police service.
Senior Constable Brittany Duncan said Paddy began life as a children's taxi ride in a shopping centre.
“No longer loved, Paddy was found at the local Tender Centre and soon became a project for local police,” she said.
“The transformation took just over three months.
“The original car was yellow so it had to be stripped, sanded down and spray painted white.
“QPS Fleet Services assisted us with the stickers and lights which our Radio and Electronic section installed, it was quite the project and we are very thankful to everyone involved.”
Snr Const Duncan said introducing Paddy as one of the Bundaberg Patrol Group's vehicles was especially important in fostering good relationships with the younger members of the community.
“It is so important for children to have a positive relationship with police,” she said.
“Sadly, we see it too often that children are scared of police and as a result don’t feel comfortable coming to us for help.
“Hopefully most children will grow up without needing assistance from police however, if they do, it is vital that they trust us so that we can give them the support they need.”
Paddy will be used at community events in Bundaberg and surrounding areas, with its first outing at last week's Oceanfest.
“There wasn’t really a moment all day when there wasn’t a child in there playing with the radio, turning the lights on or listening to the siren,” ” Snr Const Duncan said.
“It was wonderful to watch how happy Paddy made the children.
“The only negative was when the parents wanted to leave, the children didn’t want to get out!”
Snr Const Duncan said the creation of Paddy would not have been possible without help from the community.
“A big thankyou to Dawn and Burnett Heads Neighbourhood Watch, Bundaberg Police Radio and Electronic Section and of course one of our handy police husbands for all their hard work on the project,” she said.