Thursday, March 1, 2012

Vic: Police say drug review a PR stunt

AAP General News (Australia)
Vic: Police say drug review a PR stunt

MELBOURNE, Dec 14 AAP - Plans to axe Victoria's drug squad and replace it with a separate
drug division was a public relations exercise which threatened to scapegoat hard-working
officers, the police union said today.

Police Association secretary Paul Mullett said the proposal announced by Chief Commissioner
Christine Nixon this morning, was by no means a fait accompli.

The association would fight moves to scrap the squad and force officers to reapply
for their jobs, Mr Mullett said.

There were also serious concerns about proposed psychological testing of drug detectives
and moves to limit their investigative powers.

"We don't want to see this (drug review) as a PR exercise ... (but) that's how it's
being perceived (by officers)," he said.

Mr Mullett said plans to force officers to reapply for their jobs would breach the
union's workplace agreement and could result in industrial action.

If the force attempted to ride roughshod over the agreement, the Association would
take the matter to the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC), he said.

"Look, many workplaces from time to time need to be reviewed and if necessary changes
made to work practices as long as the changes are reasonable ... " he said.

However, he said, the drug review failed to highlight the fact it was officers from
inside the drug squad who blew the whistle and initiated investigations against their

"Why should good, honest, hardworking people have to reapply for their own jobs when
they haven't been identified as being incompetent?" he said.

Mr Mullett said that if the squad were to be upgraded resources would have to be doubled.

The union would be calling for staff numbers to increase from 60 to at least 120 with
extra funding from the state government, he said.

AAP jmw/clr/cjh/de


2001 AAP Information Services Pty Limited (AAP) or its Licensors.

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