More frontline police positions will be created in the Hunter, as the changing face of the region’s police structure starts to take shape.
The Central Hunter command will split under a plan to re-engineer the state’s police which will remove some upper management to put more officers on the ground.
Cessnock will join Muswellbrook and Singleton to form a new-look Hunter Valley district while Maitland will combine with Port Stephens to form a new district.
There will be a loss of a Superintendent and three Inspectors across the three existing commands. These will be converted into three Constable and three Sergeant positions in the two new districts.
“There will be no reduction in service,” Central Hunter commander Superintendent Craig Jackson said.
“This is certainly going to be a positive for the community.”
Hunter Valley commander Superintendent Steve Clarke will lead the new-look Hunter Valley district.
Hunter Valley will have two district inspectors, who will oversee human resources, events, operations and professional standards. An officer-in-charge will also be appointed at Cessnock, Singleton and Muswellbrook.
“They will be the face of that location,” Superintendent Jackson said.
Cessnock is set to see the biggest changes across the Hunter. A detective team and target action group, which currently work from Maitland, will be based at Cessnock and the station will also undergo a partial refurbishment to deal with the numbers increase.
“There were a lot of wins in that process,” Superintendent Jackson said.
Final touches are being placed on numbers, but Superintendent Jackson said all positions would be “decided and in place very soon”.
“We’re still selecting who goes where,” he said.
“We’re hoping to get it bedded in quite quickly, without being expedient. There is a lot to be considered.”
Superintendent Jackson expected the new districts to be operational in January.