Victoria Police has announced the dissolution of its Crime Reduction Unit, with officers being reassigned to other areas of the department.
The CRU primarily dealt with property offenders and drug traffickers, and targeted prolific offenders to reduce crime.
The unit was disbanded on June 1st, as the department focuses on aligning their resources to make more officers available to answer 911 calls.
“My preference is to not reallocate these positions and continue providing the full range of policing services that our citizens expect,” said Chief Constable Del Manak.
“However, citizens expect that when they call 911, an officer will arrive to help them quickly. Without this change and further changes, VicPD cannot maintain that basic level of service.”
Challenges and changes
The police department’s challenges are exacerbated by the fact that more than 30 police officers are currently not deployable in a call-response capacity for a variety of reasons, including physical and psychological injuries, parental leave, and recruits receiving training at the police academy.
According to VicPD, the most recent example of inadequate police resources was last night (Tuesday, June 25th) when there were 46 calls waiting to be assigned to Patrol officers, all of whom were already responding to previous calls.
Disbanding the Crime Reduction Unit is one of several organizational changes made by the department.
Earlier this month, VicPD significantly reduced service hours at the front desk of their 850 Caledonia Avenue headquarters. More changes will be released to the public next month.