Veteran cop Stephen Fontana has been appointed as the new chief information officer at Victoria Police following Jack Blayney’s decision to retire later this year.
Fontana’s appointment comes at a time when Victoria Police is rolling out a number of IT projects across the organisation.
The Victorian government in February announced the commencement of the first stage of a multi-million dollar investment to equip police across the state with body-worn cameras. A trial of 200 cameras was rolled out to police in Epping and Ballarat in April as part of the plan to deliver 11,000 cameras by 2020.
The investment is part of the Vic government’s $596 million Public Safety Package announced in the 2016/17 and supports recommendations from the Royal Commission into Family Violence which called for the trial and evaluation of body-worn cameras to collect statements from victims to use as evidence in court.
Police also began a rollout of 10,000 Apple devices in November with 59 devices delivered to officers from Transit police and Protective Services at Werribee in Melbourne’s outer western suburbs.
Chief commissioner Graham Ashton said on Monday that the CIO is a critical leadership role at Vitoria Police and he is “confident that Steve is the right person to carry on assistant commissioner Jack Blayney’s excellent work.”
Fontana, who has been with Victoria Police since March 1975, will commence the role on April 30. Blayney had been CIO at the organisation since July 2015.
Victoria Police’s IT department has risen from the ashes of what was described in a November 2009 report by the state’s chief watchdog as a ‘dysfunctional, shambolic unit where taxpayer funds are wasted, government tender guidelines flouted and questionable million dollar tender deals done.’
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