The town’s newest top cop says she’s here to stay and keen to hear from residents about any social or criminal concerns. Sergeant Simone Taplin comes to the Margaret River region fresh from Esperance, where she worked as a detective and station boss, on the heels of a career which has seen her serve in almost every police district in the State. Hailing from the Pilbara, Sgt Taplin signed up for duty at 19 and the now-36-year-old has served in the Kimberley, Goldfields, Midwest and Great Southern, as well as leading detective task forces in Perth, before switching to the South West. While the change to Margaret River brings her into a more gentle climate, Sgt Taplin said some of her best memories were from tough stints in places such as Roebourne. “Great people and great culture,” she told the Times this week. “I’ve learnt a lot.” Margaret River was definitely “a culture shock” after time in more far-flung environments. “I’m used to working in areas which are quite isolated,” Sgt Taplin said. She welcomed the recent handover from colleague Luke Fowler, who has moved to head up the Australind police station, but he would return in coming weeks to offer a few tips for policing in the Capes. “My ethos would be, growing up in regional WA, I understand the importance of local policing with local knowledge,” she told the Times. “At the end of the day, we are their (residents’) resource.” Sgt Taplin put her hand up for the Margaret River station boss job. “I don’t think ‘I’m only here for a couple of years’,” she said. “If I move here, it’s my town too. I have my family here. If my nanna was living here, how would I want her to be treated?” Local police would continue the strong focus on drug enforcement, and Sgt Taplin — who has previously worked sex crimes, armed robbery and electronic fraud — said drug dealing to children was a priority. “Drugs are a problem throughout WA, and if it is not in your forefront, you’re not doing your job,” she said. “I am particularly concerned about selling drugs to kids, whether its meth or cannabis.” Sgt Taplin encouraged anyone to attend the station to discuss concerns or community groups seeking police attendance at events.