Police have increased staff numbers in the three Communications Centres and put new initiatives in place to improve service.
As at 30 June 2005, and across all three centres (Northern, Southern and Central), full time equivalent staff numbers have increased to 370, up from 346 on 11 May 2005, and up from 338 at the end of October 2004.
This includes 28 communicators currently in training - 14 in Northern Comms; 6 in Central Comms and 8 in Southern Comms. Once qualified, these staff will commence work in the next two to six weeks.
Communications Centre National Manager, Superintendent Steve Fitzgerald, says the additional staffing and training are part of a programme designed to improve Police service response from the Communications Centres.
"These actions are an important step toward addressing the recommendations contained in the Independent Review Panel (IRP) report into Communications Centres, released in May this year," says Superintendent Fitzgerald.
"Every day, all day, weâ€™re conscious that weâ€™re in an environment of critical emergencies, often involving life and death. Weâ€™re doing everything we can to mitigate the risks associated with this.
"Sure but steady progress is being made toward implementing the recommendations from the Independent Review and our own knowledge of what we need to do to improve.
"Weâ€™ve transferred all Communications Centre training to the Training Service Centre (TSC) at the Royal New Zealand Police College and a Service Level Agreement has been signed which sees them take charge of all ongoing training across all Communication Centre roles.
"Ten new training positions have been created at the TSC to address the current and future training needs of the Communications Centres. Advertising for these positions began within Police last Friday and externally this week.
"The establishment of the National Communications Centre Advisory Board - which has now met twice - is adding value to the short, medium and long-term issues we have to address in terms of our people and technology requirements and our broader strategic direction.
"We have a great amount of work to do in this area to prioritise our efforts. This will involve consultation both within and outside of police.
"Personally, since my appointment to the role of Communications Centre National Manager in mid June, Iâ€™ve visited all three Centres to talk with staff, hear what they have to say and outline what we collectively need to achieve.
"Including Communications Centre staff in the entire process is an important part of achieving our intended improvements.
Superintendent Fitzgerald says the IRP report signalled areas for service improvement around how Communications Centres operate and in the interaction between Centre and District staff and the public.
"Itâ€™s my role to help ensure police provide the best possible service to each other and to the public while contributing to the overall police goals of crime and crash reduction."
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