WAGGA police resources could be strained even further with a new proposal intending to remove 24/7 guards from the station's holding cells.
The city's station is one of three in the state where Corrective Services NSW are proposing to slash the hours of prison officers guarding offenders, leaving local police officers to take over.
Police Association of NSW president Tony King said if the decision is approved, police and the community will suffer.
"The proposal will have a dramatic impost on police in the Murray River and Murrumbidgee districts too, because after hours officers will either have to drive to Albury or Griffith to take the prisoners there," he said.
"That means further strain is placed on those stations, spreading the impact, but also more time that officers from Wagga are away from their own communities where they may be needed."
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A Corrective Services NSW spokeswoman said the decision to cut hours at Wagga Police Station, as well as Batemans Bay and Queanbeyan, was based on "continued low and inconsistent demand for services within these locations".
"The Wagga Wagga cells have fewer than two fresh custodies each day," she said.
"The approximate cost to hold an offender at these locations is up to $6,000 per day."
However, Mr King said the cost cutting measure would actually be "cost shifting".
"Sure, they may save that money, but the expense will just be transferred on to police, and the community will pay the price," he said.
"Any proposal to reduce correctional services that assist local police is just ludicrous."
Mr King added that all three locations facing the cuts were already struggling due to external factors.
"These places have been hit by drought, bushfires and floods, so to take away government jobs there just defies logic," he said.
Public Service Association assistant general secretary Troy Wright shared the sentiment, and said just because the staffed hours were cut, it didn't mean the workload dropped too.
"The work of holding those people in custody doesn't disappear, it would transfer on to police and the resulting impact is less police on the street, and less police being able to respond proactively to crime," he said.
"It's just not an efficient use of police time, and our members were doing a fantastic job as it was."
The CSNSW spokeswoman said they are "reviewing and consulting with our staff, NSW Police, the Public Service Association and other stakeholders around the operating hours", and Mr Wright added they were negotiating redeployment for members elsewhere.
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