New top cop to oversee our regions
NORTH Queensland will get its own deputy commissioner in one of the biggest structural shake-ups to the Queensland Police Service since the Fitzgerald Inquiry.
Commissioner Katarina Carroll will today announce Paul Taylor as the new Deputy Commissioner for Regional Queensland. He will be based in Townsville.
The appointment comes as communities in the north say youth crime is out of control and amid concerns the north and south of the state have different policing needs.
Cairns and Townsville will again be split into two regions, with assistant commissioners based in both towns, reversing a boundary change made under former Commissioner Ian Stewart.
Police say the move will aim to align community groups and government agencies with police to prevent crime.
Ms Carroll is also considering creating a new region that would include the Sunshine Coast and other neighbouring areas.
The changes come after Ms Carroll conducted a review of the Queensland Police Service after her appointment last year.
Other changes include:
*A new deputy commissioner for Southern Queensland, based in the southeast, with Steve Gollschewski appointed to the role.
*Deputy Commissioner Tracy Linford will retain her portfolio crime, counter-terrorism and specialist operations.
*Doug Smith has been appointed as a deputy commissioner with the strategy and corporate services portfolio.
Ms Carroll was brought up in north Queensland on a tobacco farm and was previously an assistant commissioner based in Cairns.
Queensland Police Union (QPU) president Ian Leavers said he welcomed the changes which was an election commitment request by the union to "de-merge the current North Queensland Police 'mega region' that has proved to be a failed experiment".
"I congratulate the government for listening to the QPU and establishing a process which has now led to the Commissioner making a decision to have stand alone police regions in both North and Far Northern Queensland with an individual Assistant Commissioner based in both Townsville and Cairns," he said.
"This reinstating of separate police regions is long overdue and I am glad a disastrous decision by a previous government has now been corrected", Mr Leavers said.