Hume Police District officers Senior Constable Peter Canestrari and Leading Senior Constable Ramon Gilarte were on a routine foot patrol of the Moss Vale CBD on Monday morning (9 October) when a noise stopped them in their boots.
Chirping. Lots of chirping could be heard even above the traffic noise of the main road. The sound baby birds make when they’re in trouble. Looking closer, they discovered a mother duck hovering around a nearby drainpipe.
Chief Inspector Brendan Bernie, officer in charge of the Hume Police District – which stretches from the Southern Highlands out to Goulburn, Yass, Crookwell and Young – said the two officers sprang into action when they realised baby ducks had fallen into the drain.
“Fortunately, one of the officers is a rather strapping lad so he managed to lift up the grate of the drain so the other officer could get in,” Chief Inspector Bernie said.
“The other officer then managed to remove the ducklings one by one until they were all out.”
Turns out, there were 10 of them.
It was one of those opportune occasions, Chief Inspector Bernie said, when police were in the right place at the right time.
He said the officers told him about the incident yesterday and the good-news story was posted on social media.
“This was one of the positive sides to social media,” he said.
“In the past, police officers have been known to do this sort of thing quite regularly, but no-one really got to know about it. Now, with social media, people can see that police are good people doing a tough job – and it also demonstrates the diversity of the things we do.”
He said he was proud of the two officers for showing such initiative and humanity towards the duck family.
The online community also showed its support for the policemen’s work, posting comments such as: “Community policing at its best”, “This makes me so happy. Well done to the officers”, and “Love your work”.
“One of the comments just said, ‘Thank you for caring’,” Chief Inspector Bernie said. “To me, that really sums up what this is all about.”
Once the ducks were removed from the drain and deemed to be in a satisfactory condition, police stopped traffic to let the family cross the main road safely. They were last seen decamping in the right direction, under police guard, towards the pond at Leighton Gardens.