Cessnock residents are being urged to throw their support behind an online campaign for more police and better stations in the Cessnock area.
Cessnock mayor Bob Pynsent launched the campaign on Monday, which urged the state government to give police in the Central Hunter greater support.
In particular the petition calls for an increase in staff levels and for the ageing infrastructure of local police stations to be improved.
It comes after council supported a motion in August to address the growing pressure on local police as a matter of urgency.
Cr Pynsent labelled the need for an increased police presence and improved police stations a priority and an expectation shared by all.
“Cessnock, Kurri Kurri and surrounds are experiencing rapid growth, however the resourcing of our local police force does not reflect this,” he said.
“Our police do a wonderful job in protecting our community but their resources are stretched thinly.
“These concerns have been shared with council by the men and women in uniform, who do not feel adequately equipped to deal with an increase in demand on local services.”
The idea has the full support of NSW Police Association Central Hunter branch chairman Mitch Dubojski.
Mr Dubojski said any initiative to improve numbers and infrastructure was fantastic, particularly due to the unique issues in Cessnock such as the jail expansion and fast-growing population.
The union representative said he would like to see a purpose-built station in Cessnock to cover both Cessnock and Kurri Kurri.
Police resourcing is an issue Mr Dubojski has been quite vocal about in the past. He said the support from council would definitely help the cause.
“Police are only as strong as the community they police,” he said. “We’re not asking for faster cars or prettier uniforms, we just need the numbers.”
To sign the petition visit www.change.org/p/nsw-government-cessnock-more-police-on-the-beat.
Cessnock Council will also write to the government in support of a motion raised by councillor Rod Doherty to establish an emergency services precinct next to the Hunter Expressway.