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On 11 April 2019 a Broadcast was authorised by the Director of HRM Branch advising members that priority consideration would be granted, for members who have served in a gazetted position at a remote location when considering applications for advertised vacancies by the Police Deployment Panel.

In essence this means that effective from that date when the panel meet every second week to consider applications, if an applicant meets all of the essential criteria and they have performed gazetted duties at a remote location they will be deemed to be the most successful applicant over another member who also meets all of the essential criteria, but has not been gazetted to a remote location. Key word is gazetted, and this seems to be where a lot of our enquiries over the past few months have been coming from.

Many of our members have served bush doing regular temporary stints over many years and have expressed their disappointment that their efforts to help out the remote stations is going unrecognised. There have been suggestions that at a bare minimum that there should be some recognition given to these members and that in the first instance those members who are gazetted to the Territory Relief Pool should also be considered for vacancy priority consideration. Feedback has also come through that instead of using the word gazetted the reference should be to tenure completed, playing the devils advocate here- what say if a member is gazetted to a remote station, stays there for 1 month, 3 months? And then gains a compassionate transfer or gets 14Bd out- these individuals have been gazetted to a remote location and would therefore technically be considered to have been gazetted to a remote location and given remote priority consideration. We have been in conversations with the powers that be and there is talk about amending the transfer and promotion policy, and I would suggest as a result of the remote transfer debacle there will most certainly need to be alterations to the instruction in the very near future.

Obviously a very topical issue is the 14B process, which at the time of writing this article is in the early stages of development. It was clear from the outset that the concept of 14B transfers for remote stations was a complete knee jerk reaction to a problem that has existed for many, many years. There appeared to be no proper planning or foresight given when initiating the process and as we predicted would happen there was an outcry from the membership about the lack of transparency and fairness in the first stage of the process. There are always going to be members who for a variety of reasons are simply not able to commit right now to taking up a position in a remote location, and it's the Associations view that each set of circumstances needs to be considered carefully and on an individual basis. But on the other hand, we also hear the desperation when speaking to our members who are serving out bush about the fatigue and stress that they are under because they simply do not have enough bodies to carry the workload effectively. There needs to be a balance and hopefully the creation of the remote exemption and deployment group as a result of the feedback received there will be some effective strategies not only for an immediate fix to the current problem, but also with long term strategies being put in place to ensure there is fairness and equity amongst the entire police force when having to fill remote police stations.

DISCIPLINE

Being told you are investigation or sometimes even worse not knowing and having a piece of paper served upon you from out of the blue from the Professional Standards Command can be one of the most daunting and disruptive experiences an officer will go through. It is important to understand that as a police officer you will constantly be under scrutiny both by your employer but also by the public. Nothing new to report there, but what many members seem to be getting caught out with is actions that occur whilst they are off duty, whether it be directly in view of the public or by something on line or on their phone. Your personal life is sometimes not personal at all, and if your actions or behaviour are questionable and not in line with the values of the organisation 9 times out of 10 you will get called upon to explain your motivation and decision making. The Association will assist every member in the best way that they can, and it is important that as soon as you hear that something is going on or you are served with a notice or direction, contact us immediately so we can help you through the process. Making contact with ESS is also something that you should be thinking about if the toe cutters come knocking, you may not think that the process will have major impact on you, and in some instances it will not, but in the majority of scenarios I have been a part of its the mere fact that your integrity and your dedication to the job is being questioned and that can have a massive detrimental impact on your personal life and the way you go about your business. The most important person to look out for is you- if you are in a good space then you are going to be able to give the best of you to your family, friends and your job.