Queensland’s frontline and tactical police officers will have some of the best training facilities in the world to enhance safety across the State, when the new Counter Terrorism and Community Safety Centre at Wacol opens next year.
The facility will be named after former Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk turned the sod to signal the start of construction of the Centre at the site where two heritage-listed buildings—Jacaranda House and Silky Oak House—have already been refurbished for workplace accommodation, parking and some training facilities.
“My Government announced in 2017 we would invest $46.7 million over three years to construct a world-class Counter Terrorism and Community Safety Centre for the Queensland Police Service to ensure they’re equipped with the best facilities and resources available,” the Premier said.
“This will include a multi-function training centre, a scenario village with streetscapes, a service station, private and public transport, a police station and housing, and we’re also constructing a firing range for developing and maintaining weapons-handling skills under a range of conditions.
“It’s a fitting tribute to the long and distinguished career of Bob Atkinson that the centre will be named the Bob Atkinson Operational Capabilities Centre.”
Police Minister Mark Ryan said officers have more than 15,000 interactions with members of the public every day and often must make split-second decisions that may involve the use of force.
“This requires continual and best practice training, and the co-locating of facilities here will enable an integrated curriculum to be developed and delivered,” Mr Ryan said.
“Police officers will be able to undertake training in communications skills, de-escalation, firearms, batons, handcuffs, tasers, physical skills, responding to an active armed offender, andcounter-terrorism, in a secure environment for police recruits and sworn officers.
Construction of the Counter Terrorism and Community Safety Centre will support 130 jobs.
It will open in July 2020.
Commissioner Ian Stewart said the new centre would increase capability in managing terrorism and other critical incidents to frontline and tactical police officers, together with partner agencies.
“The new facility is aimed at building operational capability around frontline and tactical officers in responding to all incidents, including terrorist related matters,” Commissioner Stewart said.
“After a 44-year policing career, Mr Atkinson will always be remembered for his dedication to the Queensland Police Service and the work that he has done when terrorism was in its earlier iterations.
“I am very pleased that Mr Atkinson has graciously accepted the offer regarding the proposal to name the new facility in his honour.”
Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
Minister for Police and Minister for Corrective Services
The Honourable Mark Ryan