‘THIN BLUE LINE’: Union claims short­age of po­lice.

Union pushes for ac­tion as po­lice short­ages reach ‘crit­i­cal’ level

NewsMail - - FRONT PAGE - SARAH STEGER [email protected]

PO­LICE staffing short­ages are get­ting to crit­i­cal lev­els in Bund­aberg, ac­cord­ing to the Queens­land Po­lice Union.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the union’s north coast re­gion have been meet­ing with po­lice across the Wide Bay re­gion this week in an effort to boost po­lice of­fi­cer num­bers.

Union pres­i­dent Ian Leavers said Bundy was “down a large num­ber of po­lice for first-re­sponse polic­ing due to in­juries, sched­uled leave, other com­mit­ments and sec­ond­ments to other po­si­tions”. Mr Leavers told the NewsMail the union had no­ticed “mas­sive gaps all over ev­ery po­lice ros­ter across the district” in terms of the num­ber of of­fi­cers avail­able specif­i­cally for first-re­sponse jobs.

“Our north coast re­gion rep­re­sen­ta­tive Grant Wil­cox ... will push for an in­crease in po­lice num­bers and to sim­ply ad­dress the short­ages be­cause, at the end of the day, the peo­ple who suf­fer are the com­mu­nity when po­lice can­not re­spond to calls for ser­vice,” he said.

Mr Wil­cox met Bund­aberg MP David Batt yes­ter­day over staffing short­age con­cerns. It is un­der­stood he also met staff at the Bund­aberg sta­tion on Wednesday.

“We are al­ready see­ing some wait times for po­lice re­sponse to calls ... for code three jobs as long as eight hours,” Mr Leavers added.

Bund­aberg sta­tion of­fi­cer in charge Se­nior Sergeant Michael McGarry yes­ter­day told the NewsMail that while the district con­stantly re­assessed re­sourc­ing, the re­view of of­fi­cer num­bers was far from ex­clu­sive to Bund­aberg.

“Staffing num­bers are reg­u­larly re­viewed across the state by Queens­land Po­lice Ser­vice and num­bers are al­lo­cated where there is a need,” he said.

Sen-Sgt McGarry said the Bundy district had suf­fi­cient staff to meet de­mand and still “do good work and con­stantly ex­ceed ex­pec­ta­tions”.

“We have to have peo­ple on leave all the time to meet leave li­a­bil­ity re­quire­ments .... It ebbs and flows on a daily ba­sis,” he said.

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