After two years as commander of the Murrumbidgee Police District, Superintendent Craig Ireland is moving closer to the coast, transferring out of the area to take on the role of Lake Illawarra Commander.
After joining the force in 1988, he has worked extensively in metropolitan areas, wearing the badge with pride in a range of positions, most notably as relieving commander of the police districts of Cabramatta, Camden, Hawkesbury, Macquarie Fields, Campbelltown, Fairfield and Lake Illawarra.
So how were his two years spent in the Murrumbidgee, based out of Griffith Police Station?
POLICE RECRUITMENT KEY TO CRIME PREVENTION
"The main priority was recruiting more police to the area, making sure all vacant positions were filled and strengthening our capability," Superintendent Ireland said.
"I have been very proactive in recruiting quality police officers to our district and the result is there for all to see with a reduction in crime figures right across the district."
According to Super Intendent Ireland, one of his biggest achievements during his time as Commander of the Murrumbidgee Police District was uniting all personnel in every section of the police district to work closely as a single team.
"This is very important when you have 14 police stations spread across 55,000 square kilometres. There are limited resources and many competing priorities to take into account when it comes to preventing crime and keeping our communities safe," Superintendent Ireland said.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CRIME PRIORITY
Many communities across the Murrumbidgee are over-represented in domestic violence statistics however during his tenure as Commander, Superintendent Ireland was a strong advocate for taking positive action against all domestic assault offenders.
"We continue to see a strong increase in persons being charged for these offences," Superintendent Ireland said.
"It is very important the domestic violence offenders are brought to justice and victims receive support and assistance."
MURRUMBIDGEE OFFICERS UNLIKE NO OTHER
Superintendent Ireland said Murrumbidgee officers much like their counterparts across regional communities in Australia, have the ability to think on their feet to resolve issues.
"Unlike city based police, there are limited resources and support units available to assist at short notice," Superintendent Ireland said.
"The result is that local police are able to come up with practical solutions and develop their policing skills at a relatively fast pace."
Until a permanent replacement is appointed, acting Superintendent Chris McKinnon from the New England Police District will be the relieving Commander of the Murrumbidgee Police District.
"The Murrumbidgee Police District is blessed to have so many high quality officers who are enthusiastic and motivated to do a good job on behalf of the community," Superintendent Ireland said.
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