TAMWORTH will receive nine new frontline police positions to fight crime, with the recruitment drive under way immediately.
The Leader can reveal the new deployment was announced on Tuesday afternoon as the NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller and Western Region top cop Assistant Commissioner Geoff McKechnie move to respond to resource fears from police on the ground.
It can also be revealed New England Superintendent Fred Trench has been announced as the new commander of the Oxley Police District and will take charge from late-January.
“Fred Trench as the new commander will determine where those resources are placed but they will be frontline operational officers responding to crime in Tamworth,” Assistant Commissioner McKechnie told The Leader.
“It’s a really significant number of officers and is part of the commissioner’s commitment to place officers across the state where they are needed most.”
It’s a really significant number of officers and is part of the commissioner’s commitment to place officers across the state where they are needed most.Assistant Commissioner Geoff McKechnie
The nine new constable positions are additional to the four probationary officers who started work this week in Oxley Command, after graduating.
The new officers could hit the ground running and bolster general duties officers in the first few months of 2018.
In April, The Leader revealed Oxley detectives were one of the most under-resourced units in the western part of the state, with officers arguing community safety was being put at risk because of the ice and drug epidemic and a lack of officers.
The new crime fighters will be used to tackle the city’s crime rates and ballooning population.
“We’ve had the dog unit, the high-risk domestic violence team deployed up there, we’ve got our Regional Enforcement Squad (RES) coming online next year in Tamworth, so with these officers, in real terms it’s a very significant increase in resources for the Tamworth and surrounding areas,” Assistant Commissioner McKechnie said.
“This is in response to those requests and concerns that have been raised, and those positions are there now and will be recruited.
“What I will say is we have listened to the police up there, we’ve heard their concerns and the organisation is responding to that.”
Assistant Commissioner McKechnie said a recruitment process will start soon to find a new commander for the New England Police District.
Barwon command was axed in the force’s re-engineering, and part of the command was moved into the Oxley Police District and the other half into New England.
Barwon Superintendent Paul McDonald has moved to take the reins of Chifley Police District with Acting Superindent Scott Tanner, previously based at Orana, deployed to Moree to fill the void in the interim.