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‘I am not discriminating’: Top cop defends mask mandate for police officers

Gareth Parker
Police Commissioner Chris Dawson

The Police Commissioner has defended his decision to force police officers to wear a mask at all times while on duty, if they’re not fully immunised against COVID-19.

Chris Dawson said the policy is crucial to ensure police facilities aren’t shut down, if someone unknowingly infected with the virus enters them.

“I need to ensure that we protect not only the people that work there, but the community we serve,” he told Gareth Parker.

“We are living in extraordinary times, and I just have to make sure that we maintain our emergency services.”

100 per cent of officers who work in frontline COVID-19 services are fully vaccinated, but rates amongst the rest of the force remain low.

“The remainder of the workforce, and I have got nearly 10,000 people, we are now up to about 69 per cent across the state.

“If necessary I will further strengthen my directions internally, it may be that certain personnel may have to work in different locations than what they are presently doing.

“I am not discriminating against individuals, I am discriminating against the virus, and I need to run a police force that can respond to any emergency.”

The new mask initiative starts next week.

Press PLAY to hear more about the mandatory mask mandate for police officers 

Gareth Parker