Police thank the unheralded JPs

TO PUT it simply, Justices of the Peace make the Ballarat Police Station tick.

A team of 30 volunteers, most of whom are retired, give up their time each week to perform unheralded and often thankless tasks.

More than 50,000 documents are processed in Ballarat each year, an average of 200 each day, freeing up sworn police members to perform their much-needed role in the Ballarat community.

“These guys are just fantastic,” Senior Sergeant McCormick said yesterday, at a recognition lunch held at the new Ballarat North Police Station.

“The work they do takes so much of the work load off the guys at the station. They all go above and beyond so we couldn’t thank them enough.”

In fact, Senior Sergeant McCormick said the contributions of the volunteers was equivalent to two full-time uniformed staff members.

Almost every weekday throughout the year, a Justice of the Peace will be on hand to certify court documents and statutory declarations and witness interviews with underage or uncomfortable people.

The Ballarat group of justices is one of the strongest in the state, and has been in existence since 2006.

The chairman of the Ballarat branch of the Royal Victorian Association of Honorary Justices, Bryan Nicholls, said he felt it was important to give back to the community and that becoming a Justice of the Peace was a great way to do so.

Justices are on duty at the Ballarat Police Station on weekdays from 11.30am to 2.30pm, and from 4.30pm to 6pm.

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