No return to traffic cops: Broad
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Thu, 10 Dec 2009News: National | Police
Police commissioner Howard Broad does not advocate separating road traffic police from frontline police, he said today.
However, Mr Broad said there were areas of the road policing the police could handle more efficiently.
Today it was reported "new look transport enforcement officers" would effectively return to the traffic force which patrolled in black and white patrol cars merged with police in 1992.
The report followed an exchange at the law and order select committee yesterday, when ACT MP David Garrett suggested having a sworn police constable deployed as a mobile speed camera operator was not a good use of resources.
Mr Broad said having a fully qualified police officer performing a speed camera role was not necessarily a good use of resources.
"Road policing is an important and integral part of policing and our commitment to community safety, however there are parts of the road policing role we could handle more efficiently," he said in a statement today.
He said as an example radar speed detectors could be more easily be overseen by speed camera operations and sworn officers could be redeployed to other policing.
At no stage did he advocate a separation of the road policing function from police or suggest a reduction in the police's road policing effort.
"What I did do was advise the committee that there were other options to deploy officers with limited powers in road policing enforcement."
Mr Broad says he pointed to the continuing existence of the roles that could still be authorised under the Land Transport Act, and limited authority officer roles, known as the authorised officers introduced in the Policing Act 2008.
They had a range of functions such as the motorways support officers on Auckland motorways and vehicle safety officers who worked with our commercial vehicle investigating units.
Police also used authorised officers for some roles, such as attending crime scenes and taking details of burglaries. "I believe there is potential for us to make greater use of the officers with limited powers in other areas," he said.