SMH: NSW Police to receive $60 million boost for Goulburn Academy upgrade

The NSW Police Force Academy will receive $60 million in next week’s state budget to upgrade dated facilities, including students’ accommodation, classrooms and weapons training.

The funding boost for the Goulbourn-based academy, the only training facility in the state, is in addition to the government’s 2018 commitment to increase the police force by 1500 officers over four years.

NSW Police Force Deputy Commissioner Mal Lanyon said much of the facility looks similar to what it did when he was there in 1987.

“It has served us well, but now with modern technology and modern training techniques we’ll be able to deliver police officers the community expects,” he said.

As part of the funding boost, live-fire training capabilities will be increased from six lanes to 24, and student accommodation and classrooms, built in the 70s, will be refurbished.

Police will also aim to replicate an armed-offenders simulation program implemented earlier this year across the training syllabus.

“This investment is about giving our police recruits the best possible training, supported by modern and well-equipped facilities,” Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said. “These upgrades will also support jobs as we get the economy back on track post-COVID.”

Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott said upgrading the academy’s facilities was crucial to support the growing police force.

“The NSW government will continue to back our men and women in blue,” he said.

“This capital investment will deliver a long-term infrastructure and development strategy for the Police Academy and improve the already world-class training all our State’s officers receive.”

He added that while he would like to see a “police officer on every corner in every town in New South Wales”, crime rates were decreasing and there was no need for any further investment in policing numbers beyond what had already been announced.

Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said this year had highlighted the role police play in supporting the community.

“All recruits are required to undertake training at the Goulburn Academy, and it is vital that we provide state of the art training facilities to get the best-trained officers out on the street,” he said.

“The upgraded facility will help us better equip our officers with the skills they need to face modern-day challenges of policing.”

The upgrade project is expected to be finalised by 2023.

Meanwhile, friends and families of new police officers, like many students, have been unable to attend their graduation ceremonies this year due to the pandemic.

However, a rescheduled ceremony bringing together several cohorts and their families is earmarked for December 4 at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

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