Boost for state's police force

Written By miftah nugraha on Selasa, 02 April 2013 | 19.55

TASMANIA Police is reopening its doors to new recruits with Police Minister David O'Byrne today confirming the Government will pay to boost frontline numbers.

The surprising move comes just a fortnight after the police union staged an event at the Rokeby police academy to mark two years since the last recruitment course graduated.

Now Commissioner Darren Hine has confirmed police expect to have at least 20 to 25 new recruits in the academy before Christmas.

"It's good news," Commissioner Darren Hine said.

Mr O'Byrne said after examining the Budget, the State Government could afford to boost numbers to 1120, with the current total workforce sitting just below 1100.

Budget suts imposed two years ago resulted in a 9 per cent reduction of police officers.

But Mr O'Byrne was unable to rule out cutting numbers again if Labor wins next year's State election.

"If there's another significant reduction in GST receipts, we'd have to have another look at the Budget," he said.

Both he and Mr Hine denied the announcement was prompted by the union condemning the Government and personally targeting Mr O'Byrne.

"It's something we've been looking at for about six months," Mr O'Byrne said.

Mr Hine said he was unaware of the budget boost until now.

The police union said it found out about the new intake of recruits via the Mercury.

The State Government would not say how much the recruit course would cost and said the details still need to be worked out with police management, but Mr O'Byrne confirmed the bonus would likely be in the millions.

A recruitment website will be set up soon.

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