Dubbo police crime manager detective inspector Mick Willing had the perfect opportunity to chew the ear of his boss as he chauffeured the State’s police minister Carl Scully about town yesterday.
Mr Willing has long campaigned for an increase in officer numbers for the Orana Local Area Command.
He said the State bureaucracy consistently puts up the argument that Dubbo already has more officers than it should have.
“The actual allocation of officers in the Dubbo local area command is 131,” he said.
“The department says our population warrants an authorised allocation of 128.
“They claim we are already overstaffed and not entitled to any additional officers for this area. The problem is, a significant number of our staff are on long-term sick leave, which means our office is chronically short-staffed.”
Mr Willing said he appealed to the minister to review the situation in Dubbo in light of the widely accepted belief the city’s population estimate was up to 5000 above the recorded level.
He said the inability to accurately determine the population of Dubbo’s Aboriginal communities placed significant pressures on all government agencies attempting to provide services.
“The minister was receptive to the information provided and I’m confident he will look at further applications for increased officer numbers in the Dubbo command,” Mr Willing said.
Mr Scully said he had visited the Gordon Estate to see first-hand the troubled area.
“I’ve seen the situation first-hand and I’m quietly confident we can make improvements in the area,” he said. “The whole-of-government approach appears to be making a difference.”
Mr Willing acknowledged improvements were being seen in the area since the introduction of the Aboriginal Employment Strategy (AES) security team two weeks ago.
“I definitely agree there is a role for the AES patrols in the Dubbo community and whole-heartedly support an extension of the six-week trial period in the Gordon Estate,” he said.
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