New program risks lives: police

THE Sunshine Coast will be the first in the state to roll out a $2 million police call centre system program, but frontline officers will be pulled from patrols to man it as 300,000-plus tourists flood the region at Christmas.

Angry police told the Daily yesterday that the poor planning of Brisbane bureaucrats could put lives at risk on the Coast.

The new Computer Aided Dispatch program is to be implemented on the Coast from November 7 to New Year’s Day. The timing is believed to be against the wishes of senior Coast police.

The North Coast Police Region, which stretches from Bundaberg to Redcliffe, has volunteered six sergeants and three senior constables to the Maroochydore centre for the rollout.

The Daily understands two or three police will be missing from the Coast’s frontline.

The new QPS Communications Centre’s Computer Aided Dispatch program, which is said to better provide resource allocation and better forewarn dispatched police of job address histories, will be rolled out in stages across the state.

The Maroochydore multi-million dollar communication centre made the region prime picking as the first to implement the CAD system.

Every police officer who spoke with the Daily applauded the arrival of the new CAD system, which they say will mean less paperwork and more time on the ground.

But the Queensland Police Union says taking any of the region’s overworked and under-resourced police during the busiest time of the year is asking for trouble.

“You are stripping experienced frontline police when the population doubles in some areas and triples in others,” North Coast QPU representative Des Hansson said.

“It’s not fair on anybody. I just pray that no one is injured or killed.”

The news comes as a team of four Sunshine Coast frontline police are in the thick of the month-long Gold Coast crime blitz.

They, too, volunteered for the job.

But the Coast’s chief police said a similar deployment occurred in Toowoomba and Brisbane earlier this year and it was a small drop in a bucket of 500 plus operational police in the region.

“The CAD program is an exciting project being conducted in the North Coast Regional Police Communications Centre and it is a chance to rotate very experienced staff through the centre to assist in the training of the CAD rollout,” Acting Superintendent Mark Henderson said.

“We are grateful for the support from police and police administration in Maryborough, Redcliffe, Gympie and Caboolture which has allowed the Coast to have minimal disruption to its regular operational capacity.”

The CAD rollout is expected to be completed next year.


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