Meet the new cop on the block
TRACKING down terror suspects and helping solve major murder investigations serve as a captivating glimpse into the experience of Lismore's newest inspector.
After nearly a decade of city policing, when "a career opportunity to come back to the country" was presented to Inspector David Vandergriend, his family of four jumped at the chance to move from Sydney to the North Coast.
An eagerness to tackle a new challenge and to provide "a better quality of life" for his family were the main reasons behind Insp Vandergriend's decision to take up the rare senior management position with the Richmond Local Area Command.
Just three weeks into working at Lismore police station, Insp Vandergriend hoped the Northern Rivers could be home permanently.
His seven year stint in Sydney included working at the Harbourside Local Area Command covering busy inner city areas such as the Sydney Harbour foreshores and Mosman.
He was also part of a special services group involved in major investigations including armed robberies, murders and terrorism.
In 2004, Insp Vandergriend said he was involved in an operation with the Australian Federal Police and Victoria Police that led to multiple arrests for suspected terror offences.
Despite his extensive metro experience, Insp Vandergriend is no stranger to the challenges faced in regional commands having worked in Coffs Harbour as an acting inspector and as a Highway Patrol supervisor prior to working in Sydney.
Where possible, Insp Vandergriend said he would try to bring initiatives that worked well in the city to apply to regional policing in Lismore.
"Some things may work and some things may not work as well as they did in the city," Insp Vandergriend said.
"But its a matter of trying new things and putting into practice what works best at the end of the day."