All mod-cons at new station

By Amy McGillivray

The new multimillion-dollar Tauranga city police station is ready for this weekend's big move.

The demolition of the old building, the refit of the temporary station on Third Ave, and the construction of the new building have all been done within the $20.8 million budget set by former Police Minister Judith Collins when the project was announced in August 2011.

Senior Sergeant Ross Bielby said staff were excited about moving into the new building on the historic Monmouth St site.

"This has been the police station site since the first permanent police force was established in the 1800s. This is the fourth police station here. That is quite significant for us," he said.

The latest station is the largest and by far the most technologically advanced yet.

Mr Bielby pointed out all the mod-cons in the new building as he led the Bay of Plenty Times on an exclusive tour yesterday.

Making our way past the front counter into the depths of the station, Mr Bielby pointed out a row of interview rooms, the locker room and the first aid room before we came to the baby changing room a requirement of all new buildings.

Energy efficiency was another feature of the station, he said. Lighting and heating were on sensors so turned off at the end of the day and would only come on when someone entered a room during the night shift.

Also on the ground floor was a forensics lab, a decontamination shower, interview rooms, and the cells.

The new station has 23 cells, each with beds and a toilet. There is also a large holding room complete with a TV prisoners can watch while they wait to be processed.

Up the stairs are the inspectors' offices, conference rooms and a large sunny staff room for officers to relax in during breaks. The rest of the floor was open plan office space with meeting rooms down the centre. Most of the walls around the station were designed as pinboards or whiteboards which can be written directly on.

Below the station is a huge basement, right to the boundaries of the site with more than 60 carparks and storage space.

Police officers will be working out of the new building from 4pm on Monday. All inquiries before then should be directed to the Third Ave station. About 150 people, including Tauranga MP Simon Bridges, representatives of the local iwi who own the site, and police Deputy Commissioner Mike Bush, were to attend the blessing of the new building at 6.30am today.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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