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Fears call centre plans may cut police numbers

Posted on Dec 10 2010
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There are concerns the switch of Ballarat's police communications to a central call centre will temporarily leave the Ballarat police station short of senior officers.
The Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA) at Mount Helen has replaced the D24 police communications unit.
D24 was staffed by police officers and the new centre will be run by civilians.
Senior Sergeant Greg Davies of the Victoria Police Association says the switch will free up officers to do policing work.
However, he says senior officers from Ballarat will be needed to oversee the operations.
"The ESTA facility is staffed mainly by non-police personnel, so civilian call-takers and dispatchers and police sergeants and higher ranks are there as supervisors and managing personnel, particularly if critical incidents emerge," he said.
"There will be some police available to come back to front-line policing at the police station but there will be a loss of a larger number of sergeants positions to go into the ESTA facility as supervisors.
"So in the short-term it will be neutral or even perhaps a temporary lessening of personnel."
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