NSW police recruiting blitz to curb ‘critical shortage’

A NSW Police recruitment blitz aims to get experienced officers to join from other jurisdictions.

A NSW Police recruitment blitz aims to get experienced officers to join from other jurisdictions. Photo: AAP

Experienced officers from other states and New Zealand are the target of a NSW Police recruitment blitz designed to curb a “critical shortage”.

Instead of joining the NSW force at the ‘probationary constable’ rank after eight months of training, transferring officers would keep their existing rank after just a three-month training period at the Goulburn police academy.

The NSW government says there are 1500 vacancies, putting an extra strain on officers after a series of high-profile incidents.

“”The last month has shown just how important police officers are, risking their lives to keep us safe,” Premier Chris Minns said in a statement on Wednesday.

“We know we need more police officers … whether you live in regional NSW or another state, our message is clear – now is a great time for you to consider joining the NSW Police Force.”

A second program will let regional police graduates remain in their hometown or a nearby location after completing their training.

The government pointed to a recent initiative where recruits are paid to study at the Goulburn academy, with that program helping to address the shortage, with 1235 applicants since November.

That is an increase of 26 per cent on the same period last year.

“In the past, NSW may have missed out on potential recruits who may not have applied because they thought they wouldn’t be able to serve in their hometown, or those who didn’t want to lose their rank if they moved interstate,” NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb said in a statement on Wednesday.

“We are seeing a significant lift in application numbers following the reforms announced, and I’m confident this announcement will make a career with the NSW Police Force even more appealing.”

The government will introduce legislation to parliament on Wednesday allowing police to use a metal-detecting wand on people to search for knives without reasonable suspicion or a warrant.


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