Premier’s $54 million cash splash on new police gear and new northern precinct
A new $30 million police precinct will be built in Townsville and a further $24.4 million will be spent on new cutting edge ballistic vests for the State’s frontline police.
The State Government’s police cash splash was unveiled by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and a host of ministers, the police union and Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll in Townsville on Tuesday.
The 12,200 next generation load bearing vests will be rolled out for frontline officers across the State from July after the vests were trialled.
It is the first time police will have had such high-tech and state of the art safety gear which will protect against gunshot and knife wounds and it will form part of the operational uniform.
Police Minister Mark Ryan said the integrated load-bearing vest incorporates technological advancements in textiles and design to improve safety and comfort.
“Our officers put their life on the line whenever they respond to highly volatile and dangerous situations and they should be protected with the latest technology in officer safety equipment,” Mr Ryan said.
At present, police officers wear an overt ballistic vest on top of a load bearing vest to ensure protection against firearms. The new integrated vest will mean only wearing one which does both jobs.
Queensland Police Union President Ian Leavers welcomed the move.
“I have advocated long and hard for this equipment to be delivered to our frontline police,” Mr Leavers said.
The body armour announcement was coupled with the Government unveiling its plans for the site of the former headquarters of the Cowboys NRL team at 1300SMILES Stadium.
The Premier said the first stage of a multi-stage redevelopment of the site would be a $30 million police facility.
And Police Minister Ryan said the new facility was part of the biggest investment in policing in Queensland in more than three decades.
“This $30 million investment in new police infrastructure at the Cowboys old home will provide police servicing the people of Kirwan with a modern, state of the art police facility,” Ryan said.
Demolition of the old site will begin shortly and work on the new police complex will commence in 2023.