The final touches were being put on the new multimillion-dollar New Plymouth police station yesterday.
The new building on the old Powderham site has taken 20 months to complete and will be shared by police and the Department of Corrections.
Corrections staff will operate a small remand centre in the building with 12 double bunked cells while police have 12 single-bed cells.
The $17 million construction price tag has been shared by police - $12m - and Corrections, $5 million.
Yesterday Reverend Albie Martin blessed the building in a ceremony before dawn.
Police move in on Monday after being based in the former Fitness Company building at the intersection of Dawson and St Aubyn streets.
Taranaki area commander Inspector Blair Telford was excited about taking ownership of the new station.
"I'm looking forward to moving into a nice new, clean purposely designed and built facility which obviously is more spacious and more user friendly," he said yesterday.
"It also provides more welcoming surroundings for the public."
Police had been spread out over different sites during the construction and Mr Telford said it would be good to bring the 120 sworn and non-sworn staff back together. "It will be nice to have them under one roof."
He said having the combined facility with Corrections was part of the Government's Joint Forces project to provide better services and cut costs. "Not only are we sharing infrastructure but it is an opportunity to share intelligence and training. I actually think it's a good idea."
Mr Telford said police and corrections would several spaces including holding rooms and the charge area, as well as having communal locker rooms.
"Essentially it means we don't have to have two of everything."
The new building boasts state-of-the-art security systems and even includes green features like sensor lighting and a system to catch rainwater which will be used for toilets and washing cars.
The building's hot water supplied will be heated by solar panels and additional office space can be added later.
A stainless steel police crest is expected to be lifted into place today.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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