The police union in South Australia has called for the end of vaccine mandates.
I've spent almost my entire adult life in and around policing and never before have I seen the extent of police officers, shortages, afflicting sidebar and its police officers as they are right now.
Last October, commissioner grant Stephens ordered all SAPOL employees to receive COVID 19 vaccinations, but he didn't hand down that order as the state's police chief, he issued it as the state's COVID 19 coordinator, using controversial powers under the emergency management act.
Last year, I wrote to the commissioner requesting the specific government health advice on which he based his audit, that request was ignored. Then I asked SA health for the same advice. Again, the request was ignored.
More cops have been off the job now than ever before.
At one stage in January, we had almost 400 officers not working, owing to a combination of the vaccine mandates and SAPOL continuing to place fully vaccinated cops into quarantine.
And that figure didn't even include the hundreds of cops who for two years have been on COVID related duties, forced to act as proxy essay, health workers.
Many police officers have told me directly that there's simply no longer enough of them to perform proactive police work and target recidivous offenders.
On the police frontline we know, and SAPOL should know this presents significant risks to the community. The public is seeing the effects of this every day with frequent news reports of violent knife and gun crimes.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has gone on record stating the federal government health advice didn't recommend these mandates. So why is Grant Stevens, health advice different and why won't he show the SA community what it is?
Countries all over the world have started to scrap all their restrictions and their vaccine mandates.
Why is South Australia going headlong in the opposite direction? Cops and the South Australian community have put up with two years of what are supposed to be a temporary implementation of the emergency management act.
It's time for this emergency to end, it's time for the commission to go back to running the police force and it's time for cops to be back on the front line, battling crime and disorder.
That's where the community desperately wants and needs them.