An online campaign has been launched this week urging the NSW Government to offer better support to police in the Central Hunter command.
The change.org petition calls for an increase in staff levels and for improvements to ageing infrastructure of local police stations.
Cessnock mayor Bob Pynsent launched the campaign on Monday, after Cessnock Council supported a motion to address the growing pressure on local police as a matter of urgency.
Councillor Anthony Burke raised the motion in August calling on the government to build new police stations at Cessnock and Kurri Kurri.
Cr Pynsent labelled the need for an increased police presence and improved police stations a priority and an expectation shared by all.
“Cessnock, Kurri Kurri and surrounds are experiencing rapid growth, however the resourcing of our local police force does not reflect this,” he said.
“Our police do a wonderful job in protecting our community but their resources are stretched thinly.
“These concerns have been shared with council by the men and women in uniform, who do not feel adequately equipped to deal with an increase in demand on local services.”
The idea has the full support of NSW Police Association Maitland branch chairman Mitch Dubojski.
Mr Dubojski said any initiative to improve resources was fantastic, particularly due to the unique issues in the Central Hunter such as the Cessnock Jail expansion and growing population.
The union representative said he would like to see a purpose-built station in Cessnock to cover both Cessnock and Kurri Kurri.
Police resources is an issue Mr Dubojski has been vocal about in the past. He said the support from council would definitely help the cause.
“Police are only as strong as the community they police,” he said. “We’re not asking for faster cars or prettier uniforms, we just need the numbers.”
To sign the petition visit www.change.org/p/nsw-government-cessnock-more-police-on-the-beat.