Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Minister for Police and Minister for Corrective Services, the Honourable Mark Ryan MP, and Commissioner Katarina Carroll have officially opened the new Bob Atkinson Operational Capabilities Centre (BAOCC) in Wacol.
The Premier said the $52.8 million facility incorporated the latest designs and materials from training centres across the globe to deliver realistic, secure training scenarios.
“As we continue to fight the spread of COVID-19, now more than ever Queenslanders expect the highest level of skills and experience from police in order to keep our communities safe,” the Premier said.
“This new centre includes cutting-edge architecture and technology and includes two indoor firearms ranges as well as a scenario village and other specialist training areas specifically designed to enhance capability in managing terrorism and other critical incidents.”
Commissioner Carroll said the large-scale project had involved multiple inter-agency partnerships to ensure the new centre would provide state-of-the-art facilities to support officers in some of the most significant aspects of their training.
“The QPS project team has worked closely with many partners including Public Safety Business Agency, Department of Housing and Public Works, GHD Woodhead and FK Gardner & Sons (FKG Group) to bring the centre to life,” Commissioner Carroll said.
“There has been consultation with many user groups and stakeholders in this project including other Australian state and national law enforcement agencies and the Australian Defence Force.
“The facility has been designed to allow both state and national emergency service and defence agencies to participate in joint exercises, which will support greater partnerships and cooperation between the agencies.”
In order to support officer training in response to the threat of vehicle-borne terrorist attacks, the centre will be co-located with the police driving skills section.
The facility has also been designed to provide flexibility into the future through the addition of numerous open training spaces that can be converted for multiple uses.
Minister Ryan said the new centre would provide world-class training facilities for Queensland Police Service officers and recruits throughout the year.
“The Bob Atkinson Operational Capabilities Centre will facilitate training for more than 7500 in-service officers and members of specialist units and 600 QPS recruits every year,” Minister Ryan said.
“Over the next 10 months, there will be a phased uptake of training within the facility.
“Once at capacity, the centre will house 121 staff members including an officer in charge, three senior sergeants in supporting operational and advisory roles, 105 instructional staff, one civilian facilities manager and 11 administration staff.
“The opening of this centre is an exciting milestone for officers currently serving in the QPS and many future officers.”
The centre has been named in honour of former Queensland Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson AO APM, who served as Commissioner from 2000 until his retirement in 2012.
Mr Atkinson joined Queensland Police in 1968. During his 44-year-long career, he worked in various roles including as a detective and police prosecutor.
Between 1990 and 1993, Mr Atkinson oversaw crucial reforms of the QPS following the Fitzgerald Inquiry, the Public Sector Management Commissioner Review and Report Recommendations of the Queensland Police Service.