THE Bright police station will close down this week ahead of its demolition.
The dated building is set to be replaced with a new station at a cost of $3.25 million.
For the next eight or nine months, police will operate out of the former Alpine Shire offices at 45 Churchill Avenue.
The building is being fitted with security features required for a police station, including alarm systems, security cameras and gun safes.
Senior Sergeant Doug Incoll – who pushed for the new station to be constructed for more than a decade – said running search and rescue operations would be far easier.
A bid to rescue the then Victorian government minister Tim Holding from Mount Feathertop in August and September 2009 highlighted the shortcomings of the station, he said.
It was basically run out of the kitchen and a shed out the back.Bright Senior Sergeant Doug Incoll, speaking of the operation to rescue Tim Holding
“It was basically run out of the kitchen and a shed out the back,” Senior Sergeant Incoll said.
“We had a large media contingent, police search and rescue, volunteers, bushwalkers and the SES.
“The shortcomings were quite apparent there.”
Senior Sergeant Incoll said a larger percentage of police officers’ time was spent undertaking rescue operations than in other regions.
“The Alpine local government area is one of the only ones that has had a continuous reduction in crime,” he said.
“It’s a testament to the quality of the police we’ve got here.
“But we have two of the main ski resorts in Victoria and 92 per cent of the Alpine local government area is public land.
“What comes with that is campers, four-wheel-drivers, bushwalkers, hikers, shooters, paragliders, fishermen … the list goes on.
“The new station will have purpose built search and rescue facilities.”
The Park Street station will close from Thursday, nearly a year to the day after the government announced plans to replace it at a cost of $3.25 million.
The station’s phone number will remain the same during the upgrades.
Senior Sergeant Incoll said the new building, which is expected to open early next year, would be three times the size with a holding cell, operations room, motion activated lighting and more.
“It will be state-of-the-art,” he said.