Message from the Chief Commissioner

New South Wales and Australian Federal Police to bolster bushfire response

Release date: Tue 17 February 2009

Last updated: Tue 17 February 2009

The police response to the state's bushfire emergency has been further strengthened with New South Wales providing 150 and the Australian Federal Police providing 50 additional members over the next week to assist with patrols of fire affected areas.

The members will arrive on Thursday and will support Victoria Police officers in the bushfire affected areas of Marysville, Whittlesea and Kinglake.

The members are expected to stay for a week and will assist with the manning of road blocks, traffic duties and supporting local police in conducting proactive patrols.

Deputy Commissioner Kieran Walshe said the support offered by all police jurisdictions during the bushfires had been of immense assistance and the deployment of the additional New South Wales and Australian Federal Police members would be of great support to members on the ground.

"This has been such an extraordinary event and our members have worked tirelessly and with such excellence to serve the community during this challenging and complex time," Mr Walshe said.

"This support will allow police who have been tied up with the initial response to get out amongst their community and help them with the recovery and rebuilding process.

"The deployment of the 200 members will allow us to continue to provide a strong police presence within the bushfire affected communities whilst also allowing police from non-fire affected areas to return to their local police stations and meet other operational demands.

"The additional assistance from New South Wales and the Australian Federal Police will give our members the opportunity to take a well-deserved break after dedicating countless hours to responding to the bushfires."

The New South Wales and Australian Federal Police officers will be sworn in as Special Constables in Victoria Police.

In addition to the latest commitment of assistance, various other jurisdictions are continuing to support the police response to the bushfires.

These include:

  • Up to 100 Australian Federal Police members assisted with Disaster Victim Identification, police search efforts and rapid impact assessments.
  • The Australian Defence Force provided 150 personnel to assist with rapid impact assessment in fire zones to identify infrastructure damage and immediate and long-term replacement needs.
  • New Zealand police have provided four victim identification dogs and handlers.
  • Around 40 police from interstate are assisting with Disaster Victim Identification. The police are from Tasmania, New South Wales, Australian Federal Police, Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia. Six Disaster Victim Identification members from Indonesia have also arrived.
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