07 April 2011

New Ipswich Police Inspector Keith McDonald sees challenge

New Ipswich Police Inspector Keith McDonald has returned to his home town.

IPSWICH is a rapidly growing place and Inspector Keith McDonald wants to see that the police force isn't left behind.

Having spent the past five years in the Oxley District, Inspector McDonald recently returned to work in his home town, taking charge of Specialist Support Services from the Yamanto station.

His responsibilities now cover everything from the police communications room, to the dog squad, the traffic branch and scenes of crime.

"Luckily all those areas have officers in charge (OICs) to manage their staff, so where I come in is to basically make sure I can meet the OICs' needs in relation to staffing and any issues that may arise," Insp McDonald said.

Recent phone outages at the Yamanto station, which affected the communications room's ability to field calls from the public, provided an early test for the new Inspector.

"Following those couple of phone outages we've had to re-write our continuity plan to go away from how we used to have it, to reflect how we did it and how it went well this time," he said.

Insp McDonald has taken over the specialist support role from Cliff Dieckmann, who retired after more than 40 years.

His arrival in late January was something of a return to the city where he has lived with his family since the 1980s, but he said he had noticed a lot of change during the time he spent working in Brisbane.

"Just the size, the population and the diversity of the policing here now has changed a lot in the time I have been working away from Ipswich," he said.

"This is an area that has been identified for enormous growth and, because I've still got a few years left in me, I want to be involved in the development of those growth areas like Springfield and Ripley."

"I wanted to be closer to home and to diversify, try something different. I wanted to come out to Ipswich where I can do a combination of city and country management."

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