Union pushes action as police numbers hit 'critical' point
POLICE staffing shortages are getting to critical levels in Bundaberg, according to the Queensland Police Union.
Representatives of the union's north coast region have been meeting with police across the Wide Bay region this week in an effort to boost police officer numbers.
Union president Ian Leavers said Bundy was "down a large number of police for first response policing due to injuries, scheduled leave, other commitments and secondments to other positions”.
Mr Leavers told the NewsMail the union had noticed "massive gaps all over every police roster across the district” in terms of the number of officers available specifically for first response jobs.
"Our north coast region representative Grant Wilcox ... will push for an increase in police numbers and to simply address the shortages because, at the end of the day, the people who suffer are the community when police cannot respond to calls for service,” he said.
Mr Wilcox met with Bundaberg MP David Batt yesterday over staffing shortage concerns. It is understood he also met with staff at the Bundaberg station on Wednesday.
"We are already seeing some wait times for police response to calls ... for code three jobs as long as eight hours,” president Ian Leavers added.
Bundaberg station officer in charge Senior Sergeant Michael McGarry yesterday told the NewsMail while the district constantly reassessed resourcing, the review of officer numbers was far from exclusive to Bundaberg.
"Staffing numbers are regularly reviewed across the state by Queensland Police Service and numbers are allocated where there is a need,” he said.
Sen-Sgt McGarry said the Bundy district had sufficient staff to meet demand and still "do good work and constantly exceed expectations”.
"We have to have people on leave all the time to meet leave liability requirements .... It ebbs and flows on a daily bases,” he said.