Doubt still hangs over PCYC
Albany PCYC manager Terry Eaton.

If Senior Constable Terry Eaton is allowed to stay on at the Albany Police and Community Youth Centre full time, he could be stripped of his role as a police officer.

The news comes after months of uncertainty about the future of Sen. Const. Eaton.

Eaton and his assistant manager Tanya Crabtree were initially told in April they would be “redeployed” from Albany PCYC by December 18 as part of a controversial plan to remove police officers from PCYCs across the State.

But after much community outcry and lobbying, WA Police announced officers would be transitioned out of PCYC management roles into a new youth liaison role instead, but would have to apply for that position.

Federation of WA PCYC chief executive Freddie Tan travelled to Albany last week to meet with concerned stakeholders amid rumours the new YLO position would be a region-wide role based in Narrogin rather than Albany.

However, Sen. Const. Eaton’s future at the PCYC still remains unclear after the meeting, with strong community concern.

WA Police youth policing division Superintendent Mark Gilbert said the agency planned to base the new YLO job in the Albany PCYC, but he was unable to comment on Sen. Const. Eaton’s future.

Supt. Gilbert said the position was due to be advertised in December.

A Federation of WA PCYC spokeswoman said Sen. Const. Eaton would not be able to occupy the full-time management role of the Albany PCYC as a police officer.

It is not known if the YLO role would be full time.

Albany MP Peter Watson said while it would be positive if Sen. Const. Eaton was able to stay at the Albany PCYC, it would not be the same if he was forced to relinquish his role as a police officer.

Mr Watson said the manager had achieved great success, improving the relationship between police and at-risk youth during almost 20 years in the role.

“It won’t be the same, it’s not a policeman being at the PCYC, all the young kids who come along won’t know he was a policeman,” he said.

Sen. Const. Eaton, who is currently on leave, was unable to comment on the record but is known to be frustrated by the long-running saga.

The Albany Advertiser understands a decision on his future could be made this week.

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