New Police Strategic Review gives Regional Queensland enhanced priority

Regional Queensland is the big winner in Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll’s vision for the future of policing.

For the first time, a Deputy Police Commissioner will be permanently based in North Queensland.

As well, the far north will be divided into two smaller regions, each with its own dedicated Assistant Commissioner.

The two new North Queensland regions will be administered from Cairns and Townsville respectively.

And the new Deputy Commissioner position will be based in Townsville.

The newly established Deputy Commissioner role will be responsible for policing across all of regional Queensland.

In effect, Townsville becomes police headquarters for regional Queensland.

The existing Deputy Commissioner for regional operations will remain in Brisbane and be responsible for southern Queensland.

The Deputy Commissioner allocation under the new model will be:

o   Regional Queensland (located in Townsville) – Paul Taylor

o   Southern Queensland (located in Brisbane) – Steve Gollschewski

o   Crime, Counter Terrorism and Specialist Operations – Tracy Linford

o   Strategy and Corporate Services – Doug Smith

Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said the four Deputy Commissioner model is crucial to helping the QPS better understand the different policing challenges and opportunities that will be faced both now and in the future.

“The introduction of regional and southern Queensland Deputy Commissioners will help strengthen important partnerships with government agencies, non-government organisations and community groups to ultimately prevent crime and enhance community safety,” the Commissioner said.

Consideration is also been given to creating a new region encompassing the Sunshine Coast and some neighbouring areas.

These changes follow the outcomes of the QPS strategic review and service alignment program discussions.

The Palaszczcuk Government is supporting Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll’s vision by investing in these structural changes for the Queensland Police Service.

Joining Commissioner Carroll to announce the new structure, Police Minister Mark Ryan said he had great confidence in the Commissioner’s vision for the future.

“I really like the emphasis on regional Queensland.

“I applaud the Commissioner’s desire to hand more authority to those on the ground in the regions.

“To have, for the first time, a Deputy Commissioner based in North Queensland, in Townsville, is a reflection of just how important the northern part of the state is,” Minister Ryan said.

Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers welcomed the announcement as it fulfils an election commitment requested by the QPU to “de-merge” the current North Queensland Police “mega region”, that has proved to be a failed experiment, which was established by the previous government that saw the merging of the Northern & Far Northern police regions.

“I congratulate the government for listening to the QPU and establishing a process which has now led to the Commissioner making a decision to have stand alone police regions in both North and Far Northern Queensland with an individual Assistant Commissioner based in both Townsville and Cairns.

“This reinstating of separate police regions is long overdue and I am glad a disastrous decision by a previous government has now been corrected”, Mr Leavers said.

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