Police to stay
‘‘Efforts have been made to ensure the retention of current staffing levels, to ensure smaller communities maintain the levels of service required.’’ Sue Schwalger
Police have decided to maintain 10 positions in small towns across their central district, but say 15 positions have been ‘‘reinvested’’.
Central district Commander Superintendent Sue Schwalger said on Thursday internal consultation about the police structure across the district was complete.
‘‘We called it Project Balance because we wanted to redistribute our resources to provide a level of equity across the district.’’
Schwalger said following the consultation, police decided to retain 10 positions in rural communities and small towns across. It was originally proposed these positions would be moved to other areas.
‘‘This is great news for our smaller rural-based communities who we continue to remain committed to providing an excellent service to,’’ Schwalger said.
‘‘We are continuing to invest in rural communities and we understand and appreciate the value local communities place on their police service.’’
However, the final decision would see 15 positions ‘‘reinvested’’.
Schwalger said there would be no redundancies and the people affected would be given jobs elsewhere in the new structure.
‘‘In keeping with police’s operating model, the new structure remains focused on prevention.
‘‘This means we are always working to deploy our staff as effectively as we can to best match demand across the district.’’
She said the purpose of Project Balance was to provide an even distribution of the resources the district has been allocated.
‘‘In areas such as Dannevirke and Pahiatua, efforts have been made to ensure the retention of current staffing levels, to ensure smaller communities maintain the levels of service required.’’
Schwalger said no stations would be closing and some of the other changes merely reflected reporting line changes, which would not effect the public.
She believed the new structure would provide police with flexibility and allow resources to be used to meet demand.
Police were committed to investing in areas with lower staff allocations, in particular the Whanganui and Ruapehu areas, she said.
Staff were consulted over the past six weeks.
More than 75 submissions were received from staff about the proposal, Schwalger said.
‘‘As a direct result of staff feedback, we have listened carefully and made a number of changes to the original proposal, including the decision to retain the 10 rural-based police staff spread across communities within the district.’’
She said overall police numbers in the district were unchanged.
The new organisation structure will take effect from July 1, 2017.
Sue Schwalger says there will be no redundancies.