All OK on cop staffing front

Despite the exodus of more than 6000 years of experience, Senior Constable David Whitelaw said it would be business as usual.

‘I think it will impact positively on the whole of WAPOL which in turn will pan through to the districts, so yes, lots of extra fresh young faces hitting the streets soon,’ he said. ‘I think it’s a great idea and it will be business as usual.’

Police officers not working on the front line were given the opportunity to apply for the severance package, an initiative Police Minister Liza Harvey said would not affect the Government’s 2008 and 2013 election commitments to meet recruitment targets.

‘Offering these voluntary severances has provided us with a unique opportunity to recruit the same number of new officers who are capable of being deployed to frontline duties,’ she said. ‘The Frontline 2020 reforms are about more police on the frontline and improving response times.

‘Many of these officers have served long careers in the police service but are no longer considered fit for frontline duties.

WA Police Union vice-president Brandon Shortland said he was unsure how the severances would affect Cockburn.

‘The union will be monitoring the impacts, if any, that these cuts have, to ensure our members and the community are not adversely affected,’ he said.

‘If you believe what the Commissioner and the Minister say, this will result in more frontline officers on the streets protecting and serving the community.

‘The major issue is the need to attract some 916 police before attrition, which is approximately 25 to 30 officers leaving WA Police every month, to keep up with election promises.

‘This will be difficult given the Government’s decision to implement a draconian State Wages Policy on the public sector including police, which limits pay increase to the Perth CPI.’