Waitaki District Mayor Alex Familton is making a submission on behalf of the community to oppose possible changes to the staffing of the Oamaru Police Station.
If the changes are implemented in Oamaru, residents who call the local police station would be automatically redirected to a station in the nearest main centre.
The national restructure affects non-sworn clerical and watch house staff as districts join a national police call centre.
Otago Area New Zealand Police Association secretary Bruce Dow said the Oamaru station faced losing one of two watch house positions.
The two Oamaru watch house police employees currently answer station calls and deal with the public over-the-counter.
"We'd be really sorry to lose a staff member," Mr Dow said.
Southern District Commander Superintendent Bob Burns said the key objectives were to take administrative work off frontline staff and increase the level of deployment of staff into proactive and preventative activities.
The proposal at this stage did suggest a change in the level of employee support at Oamaru.
"Our ultimate goal with these changes is to strive to provide even better quality service to the public and victims of crime," he said.
As part of the changes, Southern Police will be establishing a centralised file management centre and workforce deployment function, a Police shake-up threatens staffing
criminal justice support unit and investigative support unit.
"These changes will largely affect the roles of some of our support staff. Staff identified as potentially impacted by the proposed changes have been advised and we are currently in a formal consultation phase with our staff," he said.
Staff, and interested members of the public, have the opportunity to make submissions, Mr Dow said.
The final shape of the new structures will be decided upon at the end of a consultation phase.
Mr Familton said the proposal to reduce local police force numbers was a concern.
"At the moment that proposal is just that and I will be making a submission on behalf of the community to keep the present numbers," he said.
"Rural communities can be disadvantaged by a reduction of police services."
Figures released by New Zealand Police this week showed a national fall in crime rate.
New Zealand Police Association president Greg O'Connor said a decrease in crime showed what could be achieved through investment in police.
"It is no coincidence that this trend follows successive governments showing their commitment to public safety by boosting police numbers and resources to record levels," Mr O'Connor said.
"Police have been able to innovate, to engage, and to act proactively in targeting both volume crime and serious crime, instead of being constantly short-staffed and able to do little more than rush from one emergency call to the next."
However, Mr O'Connor warned that the gains of recent years could very quickly come under pressure from the budget cuts that are now having to be implemented in police.
"Public safety gains like these are fragile," he said.
"Districts are now having to make a second year of cuts to budgets and non-sworn support staff. These cuts will inevitably place pressure on the frontline. The very real risk is that pressure eventually shows in falling service, increased stress, and rising crime."
The rationale for the proposal has been around the expected levels of work that are anticipated under the new structures and the shift of administrative work away from smaller stations to centralised units.
The new structures are expected to largely be in place by March 2013.