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Iam Keen (July 2019)

This column is written by a frontline police member. It does not represent the views or policies of the Police Association.

A load of BAS?

Well, I have my new BAS (body armour system). It takes two people to get me into it, but apparently, it’s all been fitted correctly by the professionals who, as I attempted to inhale, told me it would “mould” to my body, “just leave it on for the next hour”.

I took the ballistic plates out, which helped, but I reckon I’m going to have to factor in at least a 15-minute stop at a safe point to put the plates in, if needed… and a partner to help me!

I also wanted to swap the belt with my old one, but was told, in no uncertain terms, that it was not an option. Apparently, the shell, the inner and the belt have to work together. Really? I find it hard to believe that a belt that hangs off the bottom can compromise the functionality of the whole vest.

A colleague still doesn’t have a reflective vest to put over his BAS because it is on back order. The poor bugger is out in traffic with his fab new body armour and no reflective gear, which I think qualifies as a health and safety issue.

Who is responsible for trying to roll out new resources before they’re ready?

A mate who attended low-light shoot training told me that the torch fitted to the training Glocks were issued to districts 11 months ago, but they haven’t been fitted to the operational Glocks because of a squabble between PNHQ and districts over who is going to pay for the $35 battery. Wow!

It’s interesting that the Commissioner is patting himself on the back, via a vlog, about all the “extra” kit bought for staff post-March 15. Some would argue that, in fact, we were “short” of kit in the aftermath, indicating that Police hadn’t organised sufficient equipment up until now.

The workplace survey for Police, where we had the opportunity to have our say, has come and gone. Did you have your say? Yeah, nah. I felt they only asked questions that they wanted answers to, with no opportunity for honest feedback. Surely, the organisation could use such feedback to make a better and more efficient workplace?

So let’s help ourselves out, eh? I’ve heard that the turnout at the Police Association’s annual committee meetings, held throughout the districts over the past six weeks, was pretty abysmal in some of the cities. The provinces apparently put on a better spread, which may account for better numbers there.

It’s not too late to join your local committee and make sure your workgroup has a say with the association. The local chairperson would welcome you aboard.

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