Extra police on the beat

LOCAL police have had a win in their bid to secure extra resources with additional positions allocated to Tamworth along with the rollout announcement of cameras for officers.

The Tamworth branch of the Police Association has had a long-running fight to bolster the ranks which was inflamed by the shooting murder of one of its own, Senior Constable David Rixon, in 2012.

Now the force has confirmed its promise to add an extra position to both the frontline ranks, as well as a dedicated crime fighting team.

“We’re pleased with the recent allocation of one additional position to general duties for Tamworth, which now fulfils the commitment given by Deputy Commissioner Nick Kaldas in 2012,” Branch president Martin Burke told The Leader.

“We also welcome the extra position which will be utilised in the Tamworth Target Action Group.

“These extra two positions will make a difference on the ground.”

The announcement comes after recent police graduations which saw no new probationary constables deployed to Tamworth from the August, December or May classes.

The two positions will be advertised but the fight to boost the men and women in blue will continue.

“We welcome the co-operation between the senior management and the branch in achieving these outcomes,” Mr Burke said.

“But we’re still continuing to lobby for other increases in our authorised strength, particularly within the detectives office.”

The local branch has also given the thumbs up to the announcement of the roll out of body- worn cameras for all front-line officers.

The NSW government will introduce legislation to back the $4 million plan over two years – something which will bolster rural and regional police who can be called to jobs on their own.

“Police attend a variety of different jobs on every shift and this camera technology will in a sense provide police with another set of eyes,” Mr Burke said.

“It’ll assist in our investigations and increase prosecution rates and safety of police officers.”

The Police Association said the video will capture events which cannot always be detailed on paper and will provide an impartial piece of evidence in court.

“Once the message gets out there that police are wearing these cameras, we are confident it will deter people from committing offences including assaulting police,” Mr Burke said.

“These types of innovation have been campaigned for for sometime and it’s a step in the right direction to keep local police working with the forefront of technology.”

The branch is hoping the government will also come good on its announcement by former minister Mike Gallagher in Armidale last year to roll out tablet computers for officers in the field.

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