Rather than allowing a vacant property earmarked for extensive refurbishment to languish while tender approval takes place, Housing and the WA Police have come up with an innovative solution in the Pilbara.
Housing has given permission for the property to be used for weekly police training exercises, to give police officers more realistic training scenarios which more closely replicate real- life police operations.
Joanne Skirrow, WA Police Satellite Trainer, Pilbara District Office, is enthusiastic about the opportunities which this cross-agency approach provides.
“It’s fantastic that we’re able to use the Department of Housing house for training. Previously we had to use a donga so being able to experience the training scenarios in a more realistic environment will ensure our officers are more confident and better equipped to deal with future situations.”
“The training we do in the house is covering Systematic Venue Clearance as part of our new Critical Skills Training,” Joanne said.
Kerri Thorby, A/Area Manager Remote North attended one of the training days to experience first-hand how the program is assisting the police training operations.
“It was really exciting to watch the training take place and to see how police officers systematically clear a house in a potentially dangerous situation."
“As well as Housing allowing WAPOL to use a vacant property for training, we have also set up the relationships between Housing and the Roebourne and Karratha WA Police offices to combat disruptive behaviour and standard issues in our properties, with regular meetings and information sharing. This way the two departments can effectively work together to achieve the same goal,” Kerri said.
Sharan Van Der Sluis, Pilbara Regional Manager is pleased by the benefits the program has had on the relationship between Housing and the WA Police.
“There’s a very collaborative working relationship with the WA Police across all agencies in the Pilbara. It’s really good to be able to help them and they’re also helping us. Together we can offer a unified approach which benefits the community as a whole.”