Police Return to Beat as First Custody Officers Start

More police will begin to be redeployed back to the beat as Sunshine Police Station today welcomed its first custody officers.

Member for St Albans, Natalie Suleyman said the custody officers, who graduated from the Victoria Police Academy last Friday, would proudly serve the St Albans community while helping free up local police to return to the jobs they were trained to do.

Custody officers also started work at Dandenong, Heidelberg, Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong police stations this morning.

The Andrews Labor Government has invested $148.6 million to recruit, train and deploy 400 custody officers in 22 police stations over the next three years.

Custody officers will have the power to:

• Manage prisoners in police cells, including the power to search prisoners and use reasonable force to maintain the security, safety and good order of the police cells

• Supervise offenders in police stations

• Transport people to and from court, police stations and other places, and

• Guard offenders in hospital

Officers will also be able to supervise offenders while they take their own swabs for DNA samples and help with breath and drug testing in police stations.

There has been strong interest in the custody officer roles since they were first advertised in September 2015, with the next squad due to start at the academy on Monday 18 January.

The Government has funded almost 700 new police personnel since coming to office, including 400 custody officers, 109 Protective Service Officers, 62 transit police, and 88 counter-terrorism investigators.

Quotes attributable to Member for St Albans, Natalie Suleyman

“Custody officers will free up police so they can get back into the community.’”

“I welcome our new custody officers. They will play a critical community role in serving the people of St Albans.”

“This government is delivering on its election commitment and I look forward to more police returning to the front line in St Albans as custody officers are progressively deployed.”

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