New cops for Division 5

THE injection of 25 additional new members to Eastern Division’s District Five, which encompasses the local government areas of Latrobe, Baw Baw and Bass Coast has been welcomed by a top cop.

Inspector Mick West said he was “excited to get (a share of) new members”, of the 350 additional police members across the state announced last week by Deputy Premier and State Police and Emergency Services Minister Peter Ryan.

“We welcome the extra numbers with open arms; the new members will come in over the next 12 months,” Insp West said.

“The increase means we can have a high, visible presence out on the streets and have an impact on crime rates and perception of safety.”

Speaking at a doorstop in Sale on Friday, Mr Ryan said the additional police numbers were on top of the 850 members already deployed, with the remaining 500 to be deployed by November 2014.

When asked when the members would be deployed, Mr Ryan said “as we speak, to be spread across the four regions and 21 divisions” to areas of need.

“I am sure local regional command will have these things in mind; they know where the hotspots are,” he said, adding it was “up to local command where they are actually located.”