The new district model for policing in country NSW will allow police to be more flexible and proactive, the commander of the Orana Mid-Western Police District said.
Superintendent Peter McKenna was announced as the man in charge of Orana Mid-Western, the first of the new districts announced by Police Commissioner Mick Fuller and Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys on Thursday.
The new commander, who was the crime manager at Manning-Great Lakes before his most recent job as acting commander of Chifley Local Area Command, said his focus was on crime prevention and making streets safer.
“I’ve been a police officer for a number of years, I’ve worked most of my career in regional NSW and I get it. I get regional policing and I understand what the community needs and how it works,” Superintendent McKenna said.
“I’m very focused on crime reduction wherever I’ve worked and that will be something I will continue to drive as commander of this district.
“I’ll have a real focus on crime reduction, whether that be mid-level drug distribution, whether that will be family and domestic violence, it’s about making people feel safe so they can walk down the street at any given time and feel safe in their communities.”
Commissioner Fuller has given assurances no stations will be closed and no 24-hour stations will be downgraded. Instead most stations will have more officers, Superintendent McKenna said, and all would have an officer-in-charge.
“There’s more police on the ground and we will be putting them where they need to be at all times.
“We’ll be proactive, flexible and we’ll be bringing in the resources that are needed. If more detectives are needed for a certain type of investigation they will come across, or our target action groups.”
While the transition from Mudgee and Orana Local Area Commands to the Orana Mid-Western Police District has already begun, some of the finer details about staffing won’t be known for at least two weeks.
Superintendent McKenna said the new model would build on the work achieved by the former LACs.
“My first job is to get my senior management team together, get that selected and picked and from there I will look at the structure and how we are going to build this district,” he said.
“It’s about making sure the resources are in the right places and being shared across the district and noone is left in isolation, we’re not working in silos and we’re actually out there where the community need us at the right times.”