LOCAL junior police officers will not have to be shoved into vacant radio operator roles if the station’s communication centre was closed and moved to Townsville.
Police Superintendent Russell Miller said staff will increase at the station as a result of the centre’s closure, therefore he was in support of the government’s decision.
The closure of the centre would remove five administrative roles but the station had been promised six extra officers.
He said it was a struggle filling vacancies with suitable candidates in the centre, which meant an officer had to be a radio operator – meaning one less officer on patrol.
Superintendent Miller said discussions for the closure had taken place before the current government’s term.
“This proposal has been on the drawing board for a number of years.
“To accommodate the move we had to have a significant amount of money on radio systems between here and Townsville,” Superintendent Miller said.
About $500,000 had been spent on the sufficient upgrades, which included improving radio towers and upgrades to the Townsville communication centre.
Crime Stoppers Mount Isa district chair and city councillor Kim Coghlan said the communication centre’s vacancies were unfilled because the Queensland Police Service needed a better recruitment drive.
“They advertise it on a government website, which is quite hard to reach,” Cr Coghlan said.
“The last time they advertised it was in the wrong region.”
The Mount Isa position was advertised online in the Wide Bay region.
Cr Coghlan said replacing the administrative roles brought families into Mount Isa, while junior police officers who remained a year a two did not. “Police do a fantastic job here but on this issue I do not agree with it going out of Mount Isa.
“These people (junior officers) do not stay long – they do their 12 months, two years, they would go,” she said.