Union call for experienced police officers for region

THE Fraser Coast has called for more police officers.

The call comes as the Queensland Police Service embarks on a massive recruitment drive across the state.

The Queensland Police Union of Employees in Hervey Bay called on the QPS to provide more confirmed officers rather than first-year recruits, especially in regional areas such as the Fraser Coast.

"The union is concerned with the QPS practice of backfilling vacancies with first-year constables," said Brad Allen, secretary of the Hervey Bay branch of the QPUE.

Mr Allen said a station's capacity should include only confirmed officers, with recruits in the First Year Constable Program added on top of that capacity.

"First-years shouldn't be counted towards a station's strength," he said.

First-year constables could not work alone and had to rotate through the various units of a police station.

He said Hervey Bay "could really use a few more" police officers.

Mr Allen said many police stations across the State could say much the same thing but there was a key difference when it came to regional stations.

"A station somewhere like Logan might also have a few vacancies but when something happens, there are three or four other stations nearby to help out."

A representative for Police Minister Jack Dempsey said the State Government was committed to providing more police officers.

"It takes time to train police officers and after too many years of Labor understaffing the QPS, the government is working to increase the number of police officers," the representative said.

"The government has committed to providing an additional 1100 police officers over a four-year period, deployed to stations throughout the state."

On this issue of vacancies in stations being filled by first-year constables, the representative said the QPS fills vacant positions with those who are most suitable for the job.

"Our police recruits undergo six months training before being sworn into the police force and heading out onto the beat," she said.

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