Six Community Engagement Police Officers (CEPO’s) and the Senior Sergeant Remote Policing Command (RPC) convened in Alice Springs to conduct an in-service conclave before heading to Palm Valley for workplace health and safety (WH&S) training.
The in-service conclave and WH&S training course was conducted in Alice Springs, between Tuesday 20 and Sunday 25 May 2014 in order to meet objectives and increase the effectiveness of the Program for the future. The course was officially opened by the Assistant Commissioner Regional Operations Service, Mr Jamie Chalker, who spoke highly of the achievements of the program to date.
The CEPO conclave and training focused on:
Lessons learned and recommendations for the future,
Continuing support to local Police through the Regional and Remote Policing Model,
Supporting NT Police Strategic, Operational and Tactical aims and objectives,
Community Safety Committees (CSCs) and Community Safety Action Plans (CSAPs),
Conflict resolution and mediation,
Developing local Night Patrols, supporting local NTES Units and promoting Indigenous Employment,
Community engagement strategies, initiatives and the CE ‘toolbox’.
4WD Vehicle operation and recovery
Each member of the team made valuable contributions to the discussions, ensuring everyone walked away with new skills and knowledge and a greater understanding of different barriers and opportunities in each areas.
Alice Springs Community Engagement Team, NTES volunteers and ACPO’s attended for half of one of the days and were given a glimpse into what the CEPO’s do and their role in the community. Also how CEPO’s build and sustain working partnerships with local Police and key partners and organisations in communities and contribute to keeping people safe.
The field training was conducted in Palm Valley. These beautiful surrounds provided the perfect backdrop and environment for training in vehicle recovery, survival skills, ground-to-air signals and HF radio training, and some not-quite Jamie Oliver style bush cooking.
The program started as a trial in 2011, with eight CEPOs in eight communities across the Territory. These CEPOs were originally based in the communities of Papunya, Ali Curung, Ntaria, Yuendumu, Lajamanu, Wadeye, Maningrida and on Groote Eylandt.
The success of the trial saw the program change its focus from eight communities to each CEPO being allocated a cluster of remote indigenous communities in specific regions, loosely based on Divisional boundaries. The eight CEPO’s now cover 54 remote and very remote communities (including a large number of smaller outlying communities and outstations) throughout the NT.
The role of CEPO’s is to support local remote Police in the crime prevention and community engagement spectrum in order to assist in the reduction of crime, reduction of the fear of crime and the improvement of relationships between Police and communities.
CEPOs are sworn operational Police members who can and do provide immediate assistance to local Police in times of community crisis.