Two more police for our roads
By SAMANTHA HEALY
TWO new Tweed highway patrol officers will start work on Monday after authorities buckled under the weight of threatened industrial action by the Tweed police union.
A trio of the NSW Police Force's top- ranking officials made a flying visit to the Tweed yesterday for crisis talks with members of the Tweed Heads Police Association. Earlier this week the association gave the NSW government a deadline to assure them that local police numbers would be bol-stered or they would begin strike action.
Yesterday NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Andrew Scipione, Traffic Services Commander John Hartley and Inspector Graeme Waldron, from Sydney, told the association about the appointment of two new officers.
The high-powered group also said the Tweed/Byron Local Area Command would definitely receive more officers over the next four years.
"We have received commitments that the Tweed/Byron LAC will receive additional allocations of police during the term of the next government," association spokesman Andrew Eppelstun said.
Tweed MP Neville Newell also said another highway patrol car has also been allocated to the Tweed.
When asked why the Tweed had not received a highway patrol strength increase despite its shocking drink driving record, Deputy Commissioner Scipione said there had been a 23-year delay on all highway patrol allocations.
"The good news is we've allocated 100 in the most recent three months and there are more to come," he said.
Border issues will also be taken into account when the next police allocations are made to NSW commands, with the Tweed/Byron LAC identified as a high priority.
Tweed/Byron LAC Superintendent Michael Kenny, pleased with yesterday's outcome, said the extra highway patrol allocation would mean police could be out in the community in a more sustained way.
Mr Eppelstun said the positive results suggested the Tweed would benefit in the long-term from the meeting, and that local officers should be satisfied with the outcomes.
"In the short term we won't see too much change, but in the medium term I think we will start to see a lot more police for the area," he said.