A new rapid response capability will be created thanks to the State Government freeing up frontline police from desk duties, as part of an election pledge.
In a pre-Budget announcement, the Acting Premier, Vickie Chapman MP said the Government is providing funds for civilians in non-operational police roles, freeing up to 48 police officers.
“This initiative will increase the number of civilian solicitors to undertake prosecutions and unsworn client services officers to take up administrative roles in police stations,” Ms Chapman said.
“It will also enable sworn officers to be re-directed to a new rapid response capability to prevent and respond to terrorism-related incidents, domestic high-risk taskings and to safely manage major events in South Australia.
“It also means the State Government is delivering an election promise to increase the service delivery of police stations at Glenelg, Norwood and Henley Beach, which had been reduced.”
The Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Correctional Services, Corey Wingard MP said this new model will put more police back on the beat while maintaining customer service in police stations.
“We’re delivering this by deploying non-sworn public servants and freeing-up sworn officers,” he said.
“I also want to make it clear that this government won’t reduce the 4713 target of sworn officers.”
Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said the government’s decision to fund additional civilian positions for police stations enables him to direct police resources to the frontline.
“In particular it will see opening hours at Norwood, Henley Beach and Glenelg amended due to the allocation of civilian front counter staff in all metropolitan police stations and to further consider the best deployment of frontline officers to ensure community safety,” he said.
“An additional outcome from this decision frees up police positions to the frontline to enable the creation of a rapid response capability to enhance our capacity to prevent and respond to terrorism–related incidents, domestic high-risk taskings and to safely manage major events in South Australia.”
Commissioner Stevens said the three police stations will open for longer hours during 2018/19.
The rapid response capability will be fully implemented from 2019/20.
“Today’s announcement will not impact on the number of active sworn FTE positions and will enable me to return police officers to frontline roles,” he said.