Government brings forward deadline for extra cops
TOWNSVILLE will have its promised 53 extra police by the end of next year, with the first wave of cops to be on the ground by July.
Police Minister Mark Ryan and Commissioner Katarina Carroll will today announce the plan to fast track their election pledge to have the officers in Townsville by the end of 2020.
A total of 28 general duty police officers will be delivered to the district by the end of the current financial year, with the remainder to be in place six months later.
The announcement will be welcomed by Townsville police who have been screaming out for extra cops on the beat, and have in the past questioned whether the promised resources would come to fruition.
The Townsville Bulletin has previously reported a shortage of police officers on a night shift in July forced Kirwan Station, Townsville's busiest, to close.
The announcement comes as the Liberal National Party is set to blast the State Government for putting out "the welcome mat" for criminals.
Townsville crime is expected to be a powder keg issue as state parliament sits in the city from Tuesday, with the LNP due to commit to tough new laws including reintroducing breach of bail as an offence for juveniles and spruik the promise of a dedicated police chopper for the city.
"Enough is enough, the LNP will come down hard on these thugs and take back the streets for Townsville residents," Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said.
Thuringowa MP Aaron Harper said he was pleased for the people of Townsville, following the announcement.
"The commitment was to deliver the extra police by the end of the 2021-22 financial year," he said.
"I am pleased that the Townsville allocation of extra police is being delivered much earlier."
The decision to fast-track the extra resources comes just weeks after new Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said she was pleased with the Townsville's staff numbers.
Mr Ryan, who has consistently said police resources was a matter for the Police Commissioner, hinted an announcement was imminent when in Townsville last week, after he said "watch this space" when questioned about the 53 officers.
The State Government made a commitment to add an additional 535 police and operational specialists by the end of 2021-22, during the last election.
Mr Ryan said with the addition of the extra officers, the Townsville Police District approved police strength would have grown by 103 officers since the Palaszczuk Government came to power.