WIMMERA Superintendent Paul Margetts is confident the region will have two new police stations by the end of the year.
Works on a new police station at Murtoa are nearing completion, while a new building earmarked for Warracknabeal should be operational by Christmas.
Superintendent Margetts said works started on the $2.5-million Murtoa station in July.
He said works would be finished by the end of March and officers would start moving in from April 3.
The new purpose-built station will have the capacity to accommodate visiting services, such as highway patrol units and investigators.
“It will be a brand new, purpose-built station with new equipment and storage rooms,” Superintendent Margetts said.
“It’s going to be fantastic to have a modern building that can support new technology and help us deliver good quality services to the community.”
The state government committed money for the new station in its 2016-17 state budget.
Superintendent Margetts said there was a need for the new station in the community, with the old one falling into disrepair.
Murtoa police officers have been working out of Rupanyup and Minyip stations during the construction.
“The members have been working off site, which has worked well,” Superintendent Margetts said.
“They are using other stations as a base, but in our line of business, we go to the people – if someone gives us a call, we will go to them, not the other way around.”
The Warracknabeal Police Station will also be upgraded after it received money in the 2017-18 state budget.
The government committed $2 billion for Victoria Police, which included 10 station upgrades.
Superintendent Margetts said he had been pushing for a new station since 2015.
He said the existing Warracknabeal Police Station was a refurbished bank building, and did not support the technology or workflow processes modern police required.
“At this stage the plan is for a new station to be built and operational by Christmas,” he said.
“We still have to finalise the plans for the building and there is a few administration tasks to work through..
“We acquired new land for the building, but we had to apply for re-zoning.”
Mr Margetts said it was good to the project finally moving forward.
“The community will be relieved to have a new police station, this has been a long time coming,” he said.
“But we are there now and it’s going to be great to see new buildings in the community.
“Everything is on track.”