Union applauds Premier's police staff boost
POLICE Commissioner Ian Stewart will decide where Cairns' new 45 general duties police officers will be allocated, increasing speculation they could be used to form a Rapid Action Patrol unit.
Mr Stewart has long spruiked his desire to launch a RAP in the city which will mirror units in Townsville and the Gold Coast and target crime hot spots as they flare up.
The additional officers, along with two domestic violence co-ordinators, were announced by the State Government on Saturday as part of a statewide increase of 400 officers.
A spokeswoman for Police Minister Mark Ryan said the additional staffing will be rolled out over four years.
The announcement came after the number of car theft offences rose by more than 31 per cent in the Far North last year.
Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers labelled the increase a "massive boost" and said it had been confirmed the extra officers would come with extra cars, accoutrements and equipment.
"That is great news for our hardworking police in Cairns who told me as late as yesterday that these extra police will be a massive boost for morale, efficiency and effectiveness in combating crime," he said.
"And with the additional police for Townsville as well, the entire North Queensland Police Region has benefited greatly from this announcement." Townsville will receive 53 extra officers.