Police graduates hit the beat
THREE new constables are now stationed at Gladstone to help increase the town’s police force.
Fresh out of the academy, Constable Wes Cooper, Constable Darren Blacker and Constable Adrian Fitzpatrick’s first day on the job was Wednesday.
The new additions come after 54 cadets graduated from the Townsville Police Academy last week.
The new officers will be stationed in Cairns, Mackay, Innisfail, Mareeba, Mount Isa, Townsville, Whitsunday, Rockhampton and, of course, Gladstone.
Gladstone Police Station District Officer Inspector Marcus Hill said the constables would help increase the number of police on the ground.
Insp Hill said the constables would be trained in various areas.
“Gladstone’s the training station. They’ll undergo 12 months of on-the-job training - traffic, plain clothes and general duties,” he said.
“Initially, they will be under the supervision of an officer.”
Insp Hill said they had got up to six additional positions for the Gladstone district in the last 12-18 months.
“At the moment we’ve got nine first-year constables, including the three new ones,” he said.
“We’ve allocated two additional traffic branch officers to Biloela.
“We’ve also just allocated two more police to Calliope (so it is a) four officer station now.
With 47 police in town and 165 in the district, Insp Hill described Gladstone as “pretty well positioned” compared to other regions.
“It is a smaller population base than the likes of Rockhampton, Mackay, even Bundaberg I suppose,” he said.
But with local industries attracting a large number of people to the town and its surrounding areas, Insp Hill said they would “continually assess” police officer numbers.
“As we get a better understanding on the development implications and the increase in population for Gladstone we can then look at increasing our general duties police,” he said.