The Andrews Labor Government has created a new supervising role for Police Custody Officers (PCOs) to free up sworn police from custody duties so they can spend more time on the frontline targeting aggravated burglaries, family violence and recidivist offending.
Supervising PCOs will lead a team of PCOs and take on some of the responsibilities currently being performed by the Officer in Charge of a police gaol.
Since the introduction of PCOs in January 2016, PCOs have freed up more than 50,000 police shifts. That means more police out on the front line catching criminals and keeping communities safe.
The number of police officers performing custody shifts has also decreased by almost 80 per cent at the 22 stations with PCOs.
There will be three squads of Supervisor PCOs with more than 50 positions to be recruited. The first squad will start training in July. All three squads will be trained by December and working across 15 stations by 2018.
The Supervising PCOs will be responsible for maintaining the order of the gaol, including those in custody and visitors, authorising searches and the use of restraints, as well as some transport functions, such as visits to court.
The Officer in Charge will continue to control and manage the custody environment and more complex issues.
The new role will give police officers more time to focus on operational duties, including criminal investigations.
The new Supervising PCO role also provides an opportunity for career progression for PCOs, who have become a skilled and valued part of Victoria’s busiest police stations.
Existing PCOs will undertake a 40-day course to become a supervisor, while external candidates will have to undergo a 60-day course.
The Government is on track to recruit, train and employ 400 PCOs by the end of 2017, with more than 280 PCOs currently employed and 22 recruits in training.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Police Lisa Neville
“The creation of this new role will free up more police so they can do what they do best – fight crime and keep the community safe.”
“It is also a recognition of just how valued and important Police Custody Officers have become since the government introduced the role.”
“The supervising role is a win-win - it provides a clear career path for PCOs, while giving police more opportunity to get out onto the frontline.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020