More Dandenong police are on the beat as the first custody officers settle into their jobs and more gear up to

start work next month.

Visiting Dandenong police station today, Parliamentary Secretary for Justice Ben Carroll said the police custody

officers would serve the community while allowing police to return to the jobs they were trained to do.

The Andrews Labor Government introduced custody officers to free up police, who had been forced to babysit

prisoners in police cells instead of fighting crime.

Two custody officers have already begun work at Dandenong police station, with up to 19 estimated to be in

place by the middle of this year.

Custody officers have also begun work in Sunshine, Heidelberg, Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong police stations.

The Government has invested $148.6 million to recruit, train and deploy 400 custody officers in 22 police stations

over the next three years.

Officers will manage prisoners in police cells, supervise offenders at the station, transport people between court

and police stations, and perform administrative duties to support police.

Custody officers will be progressively deployed to other police stations throughout the year.

The Government has funded almost 700 police personnel in its first year of government, including 400 custody

officers, 109 PSOs, 62 transit police, 88 counterterrorism specialists and eight forensic analysts to help police

crack down on clandestine drug labs.