126 new police officers will be brought online over the coming five years, courtest of $107 million that will be spent in the ACT Budget.
“The ACT Government’s investment underscores our ongoing commitment to ensuring a safe and resilient community,” Police Minister Mick Gentleman said.
“This funding injection represents a significant change for ACT Policing. With additional officers and modern resources, they will be better equipped to respond to the evolving challenges of law enforcement and to protect the rights and safety of the people we serve.”
“By bolstering our police numbers and equipping them with the necessary resources, police will be better able to respond to incidents and the evolving needs of the ACT community, and to continue to address recidivist offenders who commit significant crimes across the ACT.”
It’s a record spend for the police force since self government began, but some question whether it will be enough.
AFPA President Alex Caruana said that the investment had been a long time coming and would be well received by the community, especially ACT Policing members.
“ACT Policing has been under-resourced for a long time, which directly contributes to serious welfare issues for many of my members,” he said.
“While 126 extra police officers are good, being rationed out over five years is not. ACT Policing and the community need all 126 members today. Sadly, I anticipate ACT Policing will lose around this same number of police officers by 2028.
“Retirement, attrition, promotions and other career movements on top of an increase in service calls mean that the ACT Government and ACT Policing cannot continue to ignore police numbers. There needs to be an ongoing assessment and review — the number of police officers in the ACT won’t really increase otherwise. This imposes a negative outcome on the community and ACT Policing members.”