LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Sir – Thirty-two experienced police officers from around the country have been fast-tracked to start training in Alice Springs on January 29 as part of the Territory Labor Government’s Accelerated Recruit Program (ARP).
They will replace one of the three planned constable recruit courses, and are now in Alice Springs undertaking an intensive 10-week training program. 30 will stay in Alice Springs and surrounds, one will be posted to Tennant Creek and another to Darwin.
The 32 officers are from across the country, and include 16 from New Zealand Police, five are from Victoria, three from Queensland, two from New South Wales, one each from Western Australia and the Australian Federal Police. Five ex-Northern Territory Police are being reappointed.
Since coming to office we have invested millions boosting the resources of our police force including bringing back the BDR to stop the supply of alcohol to problem drinkers, and investing $45 million towards upgrading the core policing system, Promis.
It is the first time training for police officers has been held in Alice Springs – enabling a seamless transition into policing in Central Australia.
The ARP squad is 11 weeks training which is significantly shorter than the normal six month Recruit Constable Course. This is due to the recruits being serving officers who have the basic overall training of a police officer and are currently using those skills.
The government is on track to deliver 120 extra police to the NT over this term of Government.
Chief Minister MICHAEL GUNNER (pictured)
The NT Police Association (NTPA) welcomes the news but questions whether Alice Springs has the resources and facilities to host the Accelerated Recruit Program.
Police Officers haven’t been “fast-tracked to start work”. They underwent the same recruitment process and are still required to complete their 11 weeks of training.
The 11 week course doesn’t commence until January 29 so it’s unlikely they are all in Alice Springs and they are certainly not already undertaking the training program.
We are also a little confused about the language used by the Gunner Government in this announcement.
It’s not the Territory Labor Government’s Accelerated Recruit Program (ARP) – it’s the NT Police Force’s. ARP squads ran under the former CLP Government as well.
We are concerned that Alice Springs may not have the appropriate resources and facilities to host a course of this size, particularly for driver training, defensive tactics and firearms qualifications.
The NTPA has also called for a joint approach to look at the attraction and retention of police in the bush.
The unprecedented number of vacancies at bush stations is not an issue the government can simply recruit its way out of. The NTPA, police executive and government need to examine ways to attract and retain police to regional and remote postings.
Statement from NTPA Acting President Col Goodsell