Cansdell shapes up for a blue
THE Member for Clarence, Steve Cansdell, will call for a breakaway police command in the Clarence Valley if the area is left without a resident duty officer.
Mr Cansdell said he would seek political and community support for the idea which was only a last resort.
"My first goal is not for a separate command," he said.
"The first goal is to keep the duty officers up here and give the police that are here on the ground all the support possible."
Mr Cansdell said he would need the backing of the NSW Police Association and the superintendent of the Coffs-Clarence command before the idea could be seriously considered.
"It's obvious that they want to centralise everything in Coffs Harbour," he said.
"Initially we're going to be looking at getting the duty officers stationed in the Clarence.
"If all that fails then I think we need to say, 'right ok, if you haven't got the interest in the Clarence then I do believe it's time for a separate Clar- ence Valley command'."
Mr Cansdell said he would raise the issue early next month during a meeting with representatives from the Clarence Valley Council, the chamber of commerce and local police.
Police association vice-president Scott Weber shared Mr Cansdell's concerns and said a formal response from the association would follow after a meeting on February 3.
"It important that there is a management presence in the area and the distances involved make it questionable whether Grafton and the surrounding towns can be properly serviced from Coffs ? particularly at times of floods and other natural disasters," he said.