Grant, Daley promise more support for under pressure NSW Police ahead of elections
Lawrence Machado, Canterbury-Bankstown Express
NSW Police have been promised more stations, personnel and support to continue their fine work by the government and Opposition.
Police Association NSW president Tony King told the Express after a meeting with Police Minister Troy Grant and Opposition Leader Michael Daley that the offers of more officers and support was very welcome.
The minister’s pledge of 1500 new officers was also confirmed by Mr Daley, who said, if elected, he will honour this figure.
Importantly, Mr Daley he would double the funding for the Police Workplace Improvement Program, which provides support for their mental and physical health.
The meeting, hosted by the association at Bankstown Sports Club Wednesday morning, was also attended by Police Commissioner Mick Fuller, local politicians including Bankstown MP Tania Mihailuk, and several officers.
Both Mr Daley and Mr Grant spoke of their mututal respect for each other, while praising the work of the officers, who put their lives on line each time they wear their uniforms.
Liverpool PAC’s Timothy Proctor, who died after a car crash last week, was remembered during the meeting.
“Your association is calling on every candidate to the 2019 State Election to provide funding for police health and wellbeing.” Mr King said.
“The current funding for police health and wellbeing is inadequate, and short-sighted.
“And to all the politicians in the room, we are putting you on notice now – police officers will not accept a mere 2.5 per cent pay rise in the next award.
“We need long arms and adequate training facilities to fight terrorism and other major threats and we cannot accept police being outgunned by terrorists, crooks, and even perpetrators of domestic violence.”
The call for long arms has been accepted by the government and Opposition.
Mr Grant, who told the gathering how his policeman Dad had been tortured and kidnapped in the seventies, assured the officers that his government will provide them the support they need.
“It is astonishing to know that the average age of police stations in NSW is 70 years and this is unbelievable,” Mr Grant said.
“We have to rectify this .... and we are building six new stations in the state.
“I am not here to give you just promises as I may not be here in 45 days.”
Mr Daley, who said he and Mr Grant have mutual respect for each other, said if he becomes Premier, he would like to make the police force stronger.
“The former commissioner Andrew Scipione, said NSW has the fourth largest police force in the world and we need to support it,” Mr Daley said.
“We back the Blue.”
Mr King said: “Policing is a dangerous job – we all know that when we go into the Force – but our governments can minimise the risks to our lives by ensuring we’ve got the basic equipment we need to do our job safely.”
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