The police association of NSW is lobbying the state government to create 2500 extra police officer positions across NSW as part of their “Back the Blue” campaign.
Police Association of NSW South Western region Organiser Rod Sheraton said the Orana Police Area Command was being “stretched to a breaking point as a result of the NSW government’s refusal to fill 11 ‘ghost cop’ positions”.
He said the unfilled “ghost cop” positions had police numbers allocated but actual officers were not assigned and they left local communities vulnerable.
“Almost 900 local policing positions across the state are currently being left unfilled, with the officers transferred to other vital policing areas,” Mr Sheraton said.
“In Western Region alone we have 74 unfilled positions.”
When asked for comment Orana Mid-Western Police District Commander Superintendent Peter McKenna said, “the community should be in no doubt that sufficient police resources will always be allocated to respond to the community needs.”
Member of the local police association branch Detective Senior Constable Mark Tanzini said they were calling for 26 extra staff for the district.
“Our major focus is the Dubbo Police Station itself, once it’s fully staffed it should be able to assist with the other stations in the area.
“We’re asking for six sergeants at minimum which will assist with custody.
Detective Senior Constable Tanzini said the one element of the campaign was getting more staff to cope with custody rates.
“We’re recognised as having the highest custody rates in the state … At the moment we don’t have a full-time custody officer in Dubbo.
“In Dubbo, the sergeant supervising on the street has to come back to the police station to process the custody’s ... That takes them away from their core role which is supervising on the street.
“We’re also requesting 14 constables in general duties and five constables including one sergeant at Wellington Police station.
Detective Senior Constable Tanzini said the local branch had submitted their proposal to the Western Region Commander.
“We can’t fill roles out of nowhere, we recognise that, that’s where the campaign comes in, we need more from officers from a local perspective.
“We’ve provided data showing we do a considerable amount of work which requires the more staff.
“The police association is for the whole state …across the whole organisation 2500 police officers will go a long way.”