Victorian police stations could be manned by volunteers

Radical plan under consideration as force faces staffing crisis

Victorian police stations could be manned by volunteers
Victoria Police
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Victorian police stations could be manned by volunteers to free up officers to fight crime under a radical new plan.

The proposal to use volunteers from the community as well as retired officers for “front counter roles” is currently being considered by Chief Commissioner Shane Patton.

“One of the considerations we are looking at ... can we get veteran members who are no longer in the job to be able to assist on a voluntary basis at counters,” Patton said.

report in April found that Victoria Police was facing a staffing crisis, with 1500 new frontline officers needed within the next four years.

A police spokesman told media this week that the plan to use volunteers would “assist in deploying more sworn police into the field, providing a visible presence to detect and deter crime”.

The idea is one of several being considered by a service delivery command team established in 2020 to “transform” the service by 2026.

Police Association secretary Wayne Gatt said he believed the concept was “advantageous” but warned that this should not be seen as an alternative to recruiting new officers.

“The fact remains when a member of the community attends a police station, odds are, they need to speak to a current serving police officer about a crime or current policing issue,” he said.

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  • By Avi Yemini

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