DISCUSSIONS about increasing the number of police officers in Tamworth continued between mayor Col Murray, member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson and Police Minister Michael Gallacher in Sydney on Wednesday.
During the meeting, which was scheduled to run only 15 minutes but lasted almost an hour, the three men discussed the much-publicised crime and anti-social behaviour problems the city is facing and how some of them could be targeted by specialised police.
The need for the temporary Tactical Action Group, which was announced earlier this week for an eight-week trial in the city, to be permanent was one of several suggestions made by Cr Murray and Mr Anderson.
"The minister agreed such a unit was important for Tamworth and said he would try to find a way to make it happen," Cr Murray said.
The need for a drug unit was also raised as an issue.
"We really believe a number of the problems the city faces are caused by drug-related crime and need to be targeted properly," Cr Murray said.
"While no guarantees or promises have been made, I walked away comfortable Mr Gallacher understood the problems and was serious when he said he would look further into opportunities to help us fix them."
A Tamworth-based dog squad for the region was also discussed.
"He didn't say yes to that, but he also didn't say that was out of the question," Cr Murray said.
He said he believed the proactiveness of the Tamworth and wider community had opened the door for the discussions.
"It means the people that are in a position to make decisions that can help to alleviate some of the problems we are facing, and give the resources and tools to combat them, are listening," Cr Murray said.
"Nothing will happen overnight, but the fact these discussions are occurring is positive and means we are being listened to."
Cr Murray and Mr Anderson attended a number of other meetings, too.
"Those were to lay the foundation for future development and projects that are likely to be considered for the Tamworth region over the coming five years," Cr Murray said.
One meeting involved the discussion of Tamworth's former freight centre and the possibility it could be used to facilitate intermodal transport particularly freight and rail to support mining and other industries to transport export products.
Cr Murray said that meeting, and another with Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner's advisors about infrastructure projects, were "very successful".