Officers from the State Protection Support Unit in action.
Officers from the State Protection Support Unit in action. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Our safety in good hands

WHEN THE Border Police Force first began patrols in the Lismore region in 1839 the tools of the trade were black leather shoes and handcuffs.

Now, 173 years later, policing has come a long way and the Richmond Local Area Command is at the cutting edge.

Boasting 184 officers (excluding Highway Patrol) across many support units including the Rescue and Bomb Disposal Unit, the Target Action Group and State Protection Support Unit (SPSU), the command has a fleet of 45 vehicles.

Two specialist units that provide support and assistance to general duties officers are the Rescue and Bomb Disposal unit and the State Protection Support Unit.

Officers in the State Protection Support Unit are some of the most highly trained members of the NSW Police Force.

Heavily armed with glock pistols, shot guns and semi-automatic rifles, officers from the unit risk their lives to provide operational support to the State Protection Group in resolving high risk incidents.

The unit's officers aim to contain and resolve sieges and hostage situations and armed offender situations.

They are often brought in to arrest armed offenders in high-risk situations.

Officers from the SPSU are also called on to conduct high-risk searches and escort and secure dangerous prisoners.

They are also involved in the escort and security of VIPs who have been assessed as being at risk.

The Richmond Police Rescue and Bomb Disposal unit is made up of nine part-time rescue operators who are on call 24 hours day, 365 days a year.

Officers from the Police Rescue and Bomb Disposal Unit are trained in motor vehicle accident rescue, vertical rescue, confined spaces rescue, swift water rescue and industrial and domestic rescues.

The unit has two fully equipped rescue trucks containing the tools of the trade including chainsaws, ropes and the "jaws of life".

The Richmond Police Rescue and Bomb Disposal Unit co-ordinates and controls all land searches between Maclean and the Queensland Border and have five trained land search rescue co-ordinators.

In addition to rescue situations, three bomb appraisal technicians, who are trained to identify explosives with the use of x-ray equipment, are attached to the unit.

The Police Rescue and Bomb Disposal Unit also are used in an operational support role for situations including crime scene lighting, evidence searches and body recoveries.



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