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Police Unveil $8.3m Kingaroy Station

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South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell, Deputy Opposition Leader and Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington and Assistant Commissioner Tony Wright

Edna and John Bastable, from Kingaroy ... John was Officer-in-Charge at the old Kingaroy Police Station from 1989-97

June 30, 2017

When the station cat came crashing through the ceiling on to an unsuspecting police officer below, it became obvious to everyone that the old Kingaroy Police Station was well past its use-by date.

A new $8.3 million police station, which stands like a battleship on the corner of Alford and Short streets, has been operating for several months now but that didn’t take anything away from the excitement at the official opening ceremony on Thursday morning.

Guests included serving and retired police officers and emergency services representatives who enjoyed morning tea and a tour of the station.

Police Minister Mark Ryan and Police Commissioner Ian Stewart travelled to Kingaroy for the event, but cheekily it was actually local MP Deb Frecklington who unveiled the plaque.

Mrs Frecklington said the station was an important boost for the region and a proud moment for the South Burnett.

She said a new police station had been one of her first priorities when she was elected as the local Member.

“The old police station was built in the 1960s and was no longer functional, appropriate or safe for the town,” she said.

“When I was working as a solicitor, I had first-hand experience of the problems faced on a daily basis by our local police officers. Local solicitors had to interview clients in the breezeway between the police station and the cells.

“The sub-standard facilities also included non-flushing toilets for male police officers.”

Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said the new police station was a magnificent building compared with the “patchwork” collection which made up the old facility.

“The community expect their police to be well-equipped, have good leadership and have good facilities,” he said.

“When we support our police with the best resources, we get the best community outcomes.”

Assistant Commissioner Tony Wright described the old station as a “rat-infested, termite-eaten building”.

“When the adopted station cat fell through the ceiling … we knew something had to be done!”

(Assistant Commissioner Wright assured listeners that no cats or police officers were injured during the dramatic incident.)

Policing in Kingaroy dates back to 1907 when police operated out of a railway carriage.

During construction of the new building, several hints from those early days were uncovered, including horse shoes and part of a water trough.

The new station houses 33 staff, including 30 police officers and three administration officers.

As well as uniformed officers, the station also has facilities for Kingaroy CIB detectives and the Major and Organised Crime Squad – Rural (probably better known as the Stock Squad or SARCIS). Scenes of Crime forensic officers have their own expanded facility.

Police Minister Ryan said the new police station would enhance frontline policing and contribute to a safer community.

“Kingaroy police have consistently delivered a high level of service to the community and it is my hope this new station and watchhouse will further encourage the continuation of this service into the future,” he said.

Police Commissioner Ian Stewart, Police Minister Mark Ryan, Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington, Member for Maranoa David Littleproud and South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell

The new Kingaroy Police Station dominates the corner of Alford and Short streets

Acting Officer-in-Charge of Kingaroy Police, Acting Senior Sergeant Scott Prendergast, cut the cake watched by members of the official party, from left, Police Commissioner Ian Stewart, South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell, Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington and Assistant Commissioner Tony Wright

The nerve centre of the new police station is the Duty Sergeant's desk ... many of the electronic safety features of the building can be controlled from this work station

The desks and storage lockers for the general duties police officers

What you don't want to see ... the door to one of the watchhouse cells; the watchhouse is integrated into the new police station building

Inside a watchhouse cell ... the spartan design is practical but also aims to be safe for the person in custody

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