Wacol Ceremony Heralds New Recruits in Community Safety

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The Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) celebrated the graduation of 70 new Custodial Corrections Officers and six service dogs at a ceremony in Wacol.

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The occassion is the culmination of extensive training programs created to strengthen the frontline defence of Queensland’s correctional facilities.

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Among the recruits are Harvey, Shadow, Shaq, Jet, Forest, and Derek, a dedicated team of canines who have completed 12 weeks of rigorous General-Purpose and Passive Alert Drug Detection training. Alongside them, two Dog Squad instructors have also graduated, ready to deploy their expertise across the state.

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The ceremony highlighted the transition of former mine workers, restaurant managers, and real estate agents into roles within the QCS. These individuals have undergone comprehensive training in conflict management, tactical skills, intensive operational deployment, and prisoner rehabilitation.

In the upcoming days, the new Custodial Corrections Officers will begin their postings at various correctional centres, including Arthur Gorrie, Brisbane, Brisbane’s Women’s, Maryborough, Southern, Wolston, Woodford, Borallon Training, and the Escort and Security Branch.

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Additionally, the newly graduated dogs and their handlers will be assigned to Arthur Gorrie, Brisbane, Woodford, Lotus Glen, and Townsville, ready to enhance security measures and drug detection capabilities within these facilities.

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Member for Mount Ommaney, Jess Pugh, emphasised the importance of these roles, noting that the intensive training maximises the long-standing bond between dogs and their handlers. Pugh underscored the critical nature of these jobs in ensuring community safety through innovative, effective, and evidence-based correctional services.

Corrective Services Minister Nikki Boyd highlighted the strategic importance of these graduates, noting that they joined over 700 new QCS officers trained in the past year. This increase in personnel is part of a larger strategy to improve community safety and lower reoffending rates, which has the support of over $1.8 billion in government investment.

QCS Commissioner Paul Stewart APM praised the commitment of the new officers and the dedication of their trainers. He emphasised the crucial role these officers play in addressing offending behaviour and aiding prisoner rehabilitation, which ultimately contributes to safer communities.

David Hurikino, Acting Dog Squad State Manager, welcomed the new handlers and their canine partners to the QCS Dog Squad. He highlighted the depth of the bond formed through their rigorous training, which equips handlers with the necessary skills to handle security incidents effectively.

The recruits, both human and canine, are set to provide enhanced security and response capabilities, ensuring the safety of Queensland’s correctional facilities and, by extension, the broader community. Their graduation is a testament to the ongoing efforts and investments in Queensland’s correctional services, aimed at fostering a safer and more secure environment for all.

Published Date 26-June-2024