Area head's absence raises queries
MYSTERY surrounds the sudden leave of Tweed’s top cop.
A New South Wales Police spokesperson yesterday confirmed Tweed Byron Superintendent Michael Kenny was on sick leave, but would not confirm whether a police car which was recently stolen belonged to the commander.
It is not clear what Supt Kenny’s condition is or how long he will be off work.
“During the Christmas period Tweed Byron Local Area Commander, Super intendent Michael Kenny, fell ill,” the spokesman said.
“Supt Kenny is currently on sick leave.
“Inspector Owen King will act as the Tweed Byron Local Area Commander until Supt Kenny’s return.”
The spokesperson said a police car belonging to the Tweed Heads Police Station was stolen recently, but would not confirm rumours that it was Supt Kenny’s car.
“The car stolen was a red Camry sedan, an unmarked police car.
“It’s an administration car. It’s not a police pursuit or first response vehicle.
“It was stolen from the Banora Point home of an off-duty police officer who was on call.”
The spokesperson could not confirm if the car contained any police property.
Supt Kenny’s abrupt leave has added to the large percentage of Tweed Byron’s officers unavailable for full-time work.
Tweed Head’s Police Association representative Troy Hamilton earlier this month revealed about 26 per cent of their officers, 42, were not available on an operational basis all the time.
“The command as at the end of November 2009 had 13 officers on long-term sick leave, 13 officers on restricted duties and 16 officers classified as part-time,” Mr Hamilton said.
“How can any government expect the local police to properly protect the local community from a range of crime problems, let alone the spiralling drug problem the Tweed community faces?”