TASMANIA police ended 2012 with 49 less police officers, one less police district, one less Northern inspectorate and six less regularly staffed police stations than it began.
A four-year program of budget cuts, demanding $16million in savings before 2014, began to pinch in March with the axing of specialised family violence police positions.
The three specialised teams were formed in 2005 as part of the Safe at Home anti-domestic violence legislation.
Police Commissioner Darren Hine said the police would be redeployed in other areas, and ordinary police officers were trained for family violence incidents. But family support workers warned it could result in an increase in serious domestic assaults.
The Department of Police and Emergency Management maintained that the necessary reduction in numbers could be met by natural attrition until July, when Commissioner Darren Hine announced the department's first voluntary redundancy program since the 1990s.
Mr Hine said the department needed to lose about 25 people in the 2012-2013 financial year to meet its budget requirements, but acknowledged more than that number may apply.
Within two weeks 49 police officers and 25 other department staff had applied for and accepted a redundancy, most left by October.
Northern Commander Richard Cowling said the North had the lowest take- up in the state, with just three officers accepting a voluntary redundancy.
The redundancy pay-outs cost the department $6.2million, but Mr Hine said the staff loss had reduced its annual salary bill by $4 million.
Mr Hine also announced a statewide review of the state's police districts, starting with the amalgamation of the Southern and Eastern police districts.
He said the move would cost six administrative jobs and save $650,000 a year.
Former eastern district Commander Geoff Smith chaired the restructure review committee.
In the North-West four officers answered the Northern Territory's call for trained police officers, signing up for a $70,000 pay packet and the chance to wrestle a crocodile.
Anxious not to lose experienced officers for good, North-West Commander Lauchland Avery said most who had headed north had been given extended leave without pay.
They are not seen on the books, but should they wish to return when the department starts hiring again they can skip the usual recruitment process.
Commissioner Hine has not said when recruitment will start again.
The police academy at Rokeby is operating with a reduced workforce, to carry out training for specialised roles and those who are qualifying for their sergeant's stripes.
The Tasmania Fire Service welcomed its first recruits since 2010 in October.
The 12 new firefighters qualified for the role in 2011, but had to wait 12 months to start because of budget cuts.
Six recruits assigned to the Paterson Street fire station received the traditional welcome of being doused with water by their new colleagues on October15.
Two weeks later, long- serving president of the Police Association of Tasmania, Sergeant Randolph Wierenga, was voted out and replaced by Constable Pat Allen.
The Police Association claims a 99.95 per cent membership rate, the highest of any union in Tasmania.
Constable Allen stepped into the role on January 1.
In November police secured a deal with the Department of Justice to take police off prisoner escort and guard duty in the Launceston Magistrates Court.
Removing police from Northern and North- Western courts was a bi- partisan election promise in 2010, but was abandoned due to lack of funds.
Police conducted their last guard duty on November 30 and security guards contracted to the Justice Department took on the role from December 3.
Mr Cowling said removing police from Launceston's busiest court would free up about eight uniformed police officers per day shift and allow them to focus on frontline policing.
The deal came at the cost of $65,000 from the police budget this year.
Mr Hine announced the new police structure in December.
It included the loss of 36 police positions, the closure of Lilydale and Risdon Vale police stations and the reduction of Oatlands, Strahan, Rosebery and Zeehan to "country stations" that are only staffed intermittently.
It also confirmed the loss of the East Coast inspectorate, meaning that all police officers in the North-East report to an inspector based at George Town, and a re- drawing of inspectorate lines so that all police in the Central North up to the western bank of the Tamar River report to an inspector based at Deloraine.
Seven police positions in the North were lost and Mr Cowling said the district would need to lose three more officers to get to its target of 243 by the end of the financial year.
The restructure organised police into three new areas: Road and Public Order Services, which combined traffic, crash investigation, road safety, public order response teams and licensing; Community Support Services, an amalgam of victim safety response teams, early intervention and youth groups, community policing and Police and Youth Citizens Clubs; and Crime and Drug Investigation, a merger of CIB and drug investigation squads.