The Honourable Mark Ryan, MP Minister for Police and Minister for Corrective Services and Commissioner Katarina Carroll have announced 53 new police officers will be permanently based in Townsville by the end of 2020.
28 new police will be deployed to Townsville by the end of this financial year.
The remaining 25 new officers will be in place six months later.
This will mean that since the Palaszczuk Government came to power the approved police strength for Townsville District will have increased by 103 officers.
The Queensland Government committed to an additional 535 police and operational specialists by the end of 2021-22.
This included a commitment to significantly boost officer numbers in Townsville.
Minister Ryan acknowledged the advocacy of Townsville’s three government MPs.
“Aaron Harper, Scott Stewart and Coralee O’Rourke have advocated strongly for community safety initiatives.
“I’m sure the Townsville community will recognise their efforts,” the Minister said.
The Member for Thuringowa, Aaron Harper, said he was pleased for the people of Townsville.
“The commitment was to deliver the extra police by the end of the 2021-22 financial year.
“I am pleased that the Townsville allocation of extra police is being delivered much earlier,” Mr Harper said.
Townsville MP Scott Stewart said the extra resources would add to the great work police in Townsville are already doing.
“For example, last year 20 new officers took up positions with Townsville’s Rapid Action Patrol group, greatly adding to the District’s policing capability.
“And now another 53 new officers will be in place by the end of next year,” Mr Stewart said.
The Member for Mundingburra, Coralee O’Rourke, said it was all about community safety.
“I know how much we rely on police, especially in times of trouble.
“During this year’s unprecedented flood the police were on the front line, in the floodwaters, keeping people safe.
“These extra police officers will support the amazing work the Queensland Police Service already does in the Townsville District,” Ms O’Rourke said.
Minister Ryan joined Commissioner Carroll at the Queensland Police Academy North Queensland campus for an Enhanced Public Order Capability (EPOC) demonstration today.
In September 2018, the Townsville Tactical Crime Squad (TCS) commenced implementation of the EPOC, modelled with the assistance of the Public Safety Response Team (PSRT) and tailored to meet the requirements of the Townsville Police District.
In addition to the EPOC training, Townsville TCS officers have been trained in defensive shield capacity since 2007.
This training enhances officers’ skills and introduces small team tactics and hostage reception skills.
To date, the Townsville TCS have successfully assisted in numerous policing operations including incident support at sieges, use of force incidents and search warrant executions.
Today’s demonstration consisted of a small team deployment and use of a tactical dog with the assistance from the Townville Dog Squad in a less-lethal scenario.
Commissioner Carroll said Townsville Tactical Crime Squad officers were regularly deployed in this capability to support frontline operations.
“The training these officers undergo prepares them for incidents such as hostage situations, ballistic and defensive shields and crowd management,” Commissioner Carroll said.
“I am very proud of our Townsville police officers and know that they will continue to keep, not only the Townsville Policing District safe, but all Queenslanders.”
Minister Ryan said today’s demonstration with the Townsville TCS and Townsville Dog Squad confirmed the importance of the intensive training the officers have undergone.
“These officers will continue to enhance public safety in the Townsville District,” Minister Ryan said.
“It is another example of why the Queensland Police Service is regarded as truly world class.”
Minister Ryan also announced that the roll-out of the latest generation body worn cameras was starting in Townsville this week.
“It’s a win-win; more cameras and better technology to deliver significant benefits to police and the community.
“This new initiative means that all uniformed first responder officers will now have access to two important technologies, body worn cameras and QLiTE tablet devices.
“The Police Service’s early adoption of technology plays a vital role in the way police operate on a daily basis.
“The Queensland Police Service uses a ‘borderless’ policing model under which police are moved in numbers to where they’re needed, when they’re needed.
“Not only are there more police in Queensland than ever before, but the QPS is also more mobile and agile.
“And technologies like QLiTEs and body worn cameras support that policing philosophy,” Minister Ryan said.
Note: Police are inviting the community to a free sausage sizzle outside the Picnic Bay Surf Lifesaving Club on The Strand from 6.30 pm on Monday to meet Commissioner Carroll – Queensland’s first female Police Commissioner.