Following 24 weeks of intensive and specialised training, 25 newly-graduated officers will soon be deployed across the ACT in a staffing boost for ACT Policing.
Starting their career in traffic operations for the first couple of weeks to gain a solid grounding in traffic matters, the 16 male and nine female police officers will take up positions across Canberra’s five police stations.
The recruits have come from a diverse range of ages, life experiences, vocational backgrounds and cultural experiences, with 16 of the new officers moving to the ACT for their policing career.
The ACT Government has been under increasing pressure from the Canberra Liberals and police unions to increase funding and staff numbers as ACT Policing’s numbers continue to plummet. A recent report showed ACT Policing has 35 fewer sworn officers in Canberra than there was five years ago.
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ACT Minister for Police and Emergency Services Mick Gentleman was joined by Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove, Commissioner Andrew Colvin and ACT Policing’s Chief Police Officer Ray Johnson at a graduation ceremony on Friday morning (26 April) and said the new recruits will boost staff across the territory.
Mr Gentleman said a further 20 protective service officers in a transition to policing course will join ACT Policing later this year, further boosting numbers in the force.
“Our new recruits will help us on the ground with police numbers and ensures that we have the right number of police on the ground,” he said.
“We are working with ACT Policing and the Chief Police Officer in ensuring that we can keep the best possible opportunity for keeping Canberrans safe and addressing crime across the territory.
“I thank all of our new and existing officers for choosing a career in policing – you play an incredibly important role in making the ACT a safe place to live.”
ACT Policing’s CPO Ray Johnson said it was a special day for the entire force.
“The recruits will start on Monday doing their local procedures and learning some of the particular nuances of the law in the ACT and some of the practices that we have,” he said.
“I believe it is the 3 June when they will be on shift at stations across the ACT. They will be spread reasonably evenly across the stations and add to the duty rosters there.”