Police musicians go from rock stars to desk jockeys

MEMBERS of the Victoria Police bands will go from being rock stars to desk jockeys, with the force offering sworn members new roles as property officers.

Forty-eight band members received letters from Victoria Police last month outlining their new roles and response stations. 

Read the full story about the decision to axe the bands

Victoria Police said the property officer job was an administrative role, which included desk work and manning the lost property section of a police station. 

Advocacy group Band Together spokesperson Melanie Schoo said multiple band members had resigned as a result of the ongoing dispute. 

“We’ve had a couple of people who have chosen the other path, but it would be a minority,” Ms Schoo said. 

“We’re not talking down the (property officer) positions ... we just think it’s a ridiculous waste of talent putting musicians into administrative roles.” 

After making the call to discontinue police bands last September, Victoria Police has offered band members several alternate career options – including becoming a frontline officer through the police academy. 

"We think it's a waste of talent putting musicians into administrative roles"

There are also avenues to venture into a public service position, work as a protective services officer or accept an incentive package. 

Victoria Police says ending the bands would make way for 48 new positions on the front line.

“Our police bands have, for a long time now, played an important role in our community relations. Many Victorians have enjoyed listening to the bands at community events across the state,” a Victoria Police spokesperson said. 

“As the decision to disband the police bands is currently before Fair Work Australia, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”

The case is to reappear in front of Fair Work Australia later this month.

Property officer job description

- Administer and be accountable for the station lost and confiscated property

- Process a wide range of routine financial, personnel, statistical and other various types of transactions related to the property role

- Provide administrative support and data entry functions as required

- Assist in the coordination of the station record management functions, including preparation of routine correspondence and statistical reports and ensuring appropriate follow-up action is taken when required

- Attend to telephone and counter property inquiries as requested

kara.irving@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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