OPINION | Cops entitled to be furious with their bosses

Our police officers enforce the law and do their utmost to ensure we all live in safe communities.

Everyday they are called upon to make arrests, track down criminals, conduct road and traffic operations, attend horrific accidents, interview suspects and witnesses, take statements, assist in personal emergencies, deal with missing persons … the list goes on and on.

There’s no doubt they have a difficult (and mostly thankless) job that is often exhausting and highly stressful.

Being a police officer is a is tough gig when stations have a full complement of staff.

When shortages exist, workloads increase enormously and those on the frontline struggle to keep up with demands.

Camden police know all about stress and huge workloads.

Their staff numbers have remained the same despite almost 16,000 new residents moving into Camden and Wollondilly in the past two years.

A union representative says police at the command are “flat chat” and “strung out”.

Unsurprising given that in the financial year ending June 30, 2016, Camden LAC officers responded to 1600 additional calls for assistance over the previous year and are expecting the same to happen this financial year.

It’s unacceptable that their appeals to the police commissioner, local parliamentarians and the regional commander for more staff have yielded little more than hand wringing, buck passing and a lame promise to provide extra resources at some yet-to-be determined date in the future when a new staffing model is introduced across the state.

It appears we have yet another example of planners and decision makers failing the rapidly growing Macarthur region.

Infrastructure and services must be provided before or as we grow … why is that concept so hard to grasp?

Camden LAC is experiencing a critical staff shortage.

Police were needed yesterday, not tomorrow.

The existing situation is not fair to residents or our police.

Two days ago officers from Camden LAC escalated their industrial action and voted unanimously to embark on a work to rule campaign.

This action is understandable and totally justified.

Let’s hope it gets the desired result.


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