Shake-up in the force

At the helm: Inspector Mark Ridley from Infringement Management and Operations, Specialist Enforcement and Operations and South East Metropolitan District Superintendent Darryl Gaunt. Picture: David Baylis www.communitypix.com.au d408479
At the helm: Inspector Mark Ridley from Infringement Management and Operations, Specialist Enforcement and Operations and South East Metropolitan District Superintendent Darryl Gaunt. Picture: David Baylis www.communitypix.com.au d408479

The six-month trial will see a new model where, rather than the six stations operating independently, a control centre based in Cannington will oversee the district.

The model relies on four components ” a control centre, response teams, local police teams and investigation teams.

Each will have a different point of focus in the community.

The response teams, based at Cannington and Armadale, will respond to urgent calls while ongoing matters will be handed over to local police teams.

The role of the local police teams is to tackle the issues behind the crime and work with the local community.

Members of the local police teams will also be available to be contacted directly by members of the public.

With just over a month before the model comes into effect, the Gazette team talked with the district’s Superintendent Darryl Gaunt and Inspector Mark Ridley to find out how the community would be affected.

‘It (the new model) gives us a lot more control of where our people are and where they are needed most,’ Superintendent Gaunt said.

He added that the district control centre would be able to determine between emergency calls that needed to be addressed by the response team and calls that could be handled by the local police teams the following day.

They would also be co-ordinating the daily jobs and jobs for the week or month.

‘A lot more intelligence and predictive work will come out of the centre and from that aspect, we are pretty keen on it,’ he said.

With big changes comes concern and Superintendent Gaunt admitted there was some fear of the unknown.

‘We asked our officers-in-charge and officers where they wanted to go and most of the time we have met that request,’ he said.

‘Most of this is like a country police station model and is about giving the guys back to the community.’

He said the new model would allow police to be more proactive, especially in the communities where people would have a local point of contact whom they could ring directly for non-urgent inquiries.