An extra 20 police officers and 19 Protective Services Officers (PSOs) have made the pledge to keep Victorians safe as recruitment ramps up at the Victoria Police Academy.
Police Squad 18 and PSO Squad 2 today celebrated their graduations at the Academy in Glen Waverley.
The police graduates – including 10 men and 10 women – completed Victoria Police’s rigorous 33-week training program which involved on-the-job training and placements at police stations.
From next week, those officers will initially be deployed to booze buses and regional stations before being allocated to permanent stations in the coming months.
Victoria’s newest PSOs – 17 men and two women – completed a 12-week training course.
PSOs now patrol 215 train stations – including four regional stations – from 6pm to last train every night to keep commuters safe. There are more than 1300 PSOs working state-wide.
The Victoria Police Academy will be running at capacity over the next 12 months with around 1000 police, PSOs and custody officers in training.
The Andrews Labor Government recently announced $26.2 million to fast-track recruitment of the 406 new police announced in the Victorian Budget 2016/17. All officers will be sworn in by 30 June – a year ahead of schedule.
New officers will start hitting the beat from early next year.
The highly successful Police Custody Officer program has seen around 250 custody officers deployed to 22 police stations. They have worked nearly 23,000 shifts to free up police time.
Since November 2014, the Labor Government has funded more than 1150 police personnel.
Minister for Police Lisa Neville said:
“Victorians can get used to seeing more and more police hitting the beat as we ramp up recruitment at the Victoria Police Academy.”
“That means more boots on the ground in our communities – fighting crime to keep our state safe.”
Parliamentary Secretary for Justice Ben Carroll said:
“A career in the force is a tremendous commitment and we welcome our new police and PSOs who will work to protect Victorians.”
“I congratulate everyone on their graduations today and wish them the very best for the challenges ahead.”