The need for major upgrades to ACT police stations, support for mental health programs, and a re-examination of the adequacy of operational police numbers have been flagged by the police union as deserving of assessment in the territory's new policing arrangement.
The ACT's standing committee on justice and community safety heard how there was still "much to be done" in providing up-to-date accommodation for police in the ACT.
Police union president Angela Smith described City station as "way too old", Gungahlin station as "too small", and Traffic Operations as "a complete mess".
The ACT's police force is a contracted service arrangement with the Australian Federal Police. In the 2019-20 ACT budget, the appropriation for that service was $169.5 million, plus a further $232,000 for crime-prevention initiatives. Separate from the contract price was $767,000 for "delivering better facilities", $1.48 million for "upgrading facilities", and $278,000 allocated to a "better infrastructure fund".
The standing committee's role is to assess the current five-year arrangement which began in June 2017 and is due to expire next year, and recommend possible changes in future service provisions.
Staffing numbers have been a long-running sticking point between the union and the ACT government. The current arrangement allows for around 930 full-time equivalent officers, although an extra 69 are promised over the next four years.
"We would like to look at that number [with each arrangement] to see if that is a fit-for-purpose number given the ever-expanding ACT population," Ms Smith told the committee.