The physical and mental wellbeing of police officers are to be better looked after under a package of reforms to recruit, retain and take better care of the 22,000 members of the NSW Police Force.
Announced by the Minister for Police, Paul Toole, the reforms accompany a 0.5 per cent pay increase for officers, with the Police Force the first to identify productivity enhancing reforms under the State’s revised public sector wages policy, released in June.
The NSW Public Sector Wages Policy 2022 specifies that an additional 0.5 per cent increase per annum may be provided in 2023-24 “where a substantial employee contribution has been made to productivity enhancing reforms agreed to by the employer”.
Mr Toole said the reforms package would see $79 million allocated over the next five years to ‘Pulse’ – a new program designed to better look after sworn and unsworn members’ physical and psychological wellbeing.
He said additional funding would go towards a new recruitment and retention fund to ensure the NSW Police Force’s ongoing strength.
Police Commissioner Karen Webb said the new Pulse program was the single most significant investment into the health, safety, and wellbeing of the entire workforce.
“Our people are our biggest asset,” Commissioner Webb said, “and this investment recognises that, and ensures we put the right support around them from their first day on the job to their last.”
“For the first time we will see Mental Health clinicians embedded in stations and Specialist Commands across the State focusing on consultancy and counselling,” she said.
“Officers medically retiring will gain access to a dedicated Career Transition team, designed to help them transition to civilian life.”
Commissioner Webb said that through periodic health checks, officers would also have access to nurses, dieticians and trainers to improve their overall health and wellbeing.