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Wgton Police Station Doors Closing Temporarily

Planned Power Maintenance Temporarily Closes Wellington Central Police Station Doors

New Zealand Police Wellington News

28 August 2008

Wellington Central Police Station will be temporarily closed for up to 15 hours on Sunday, 31 August, to allow for planned maintenance of the station's power supply switchboard.

Police stress that there should be minimal disruption to public service as telephone calls, including the emergency 111 calls, and radio dispatch to police patrol cars will be diverted elsewhere. Wellington Central Police Station will be evacuated from about 9am on Sunday with only maintenance workers and security staff supervised by police on site.

Planned changes to the power supply switchboard means that the station will be without electricity until the work is completed, tested and the main power supply restarted late on Sunday night.

Inspector Kevin Riordan, acting Wellington Area Commander, said the outage will provide a good test for business continuity plans. "Community safety will not be diminished and criminals should not see the outage as an excuse to offend," he said.

"Our rostered frontline response and investigative officers, watchhouse staff, Central Communications Centre staff and specialists will be working as usual but from different locations. They will be ready and available to respond to calls for policing services."

Steps put in place to ensure critical services are maintained include:

• diverting 111 emergency and *555 calls to Northern and Southern Communications Centres from 7am on Sunday.• diverting all Wellington District switchboard calls from 7am to another station in the district.• positioning Central Comms radio dispatchers at other stations and bases around the district for the day so that they can continue directing patrols to jobs.• Wellington City general duties response units and CIB staff will work from Johnsonville or Kilbirnie community policing centres to ensure effective coverage is maintained.• positioning other specialist units such as the Armed Offenders Squad, Specialist Search Group, Clan Lab, Search and Rescue, Victim Support and forensic staff elsewhere in the greater Wellington area in case they are needed• staffing the police bus, usually used by the Traffic Alcohol Group, as a temporary mobile public counter outside Wellington Central Police Station in Victoria Street. This will include an initial public reporting of com! plaints and lost and found property service.• any prisoners in custody at Wellington Central on Sunday morning will be transferred to Upper Hutt police cells until Wellington Central is reopened.• prisoners arrested in Wellington city on Sunday will be processed at Johnsonville Community Policing Centre. Those requiring to be kept in custody will be sent to Upper Hutt.

Inspector Riordan said the extent of the maintenance on the 18-year- switchboard means that the work cannot take place on busy work days or evenings. Sunday was chosen as least disruptive day.

"We've liaised closely with contractors, the building manager and ICT staff to ensure the project goes as smoothly as possible," he said. "We'll be evacuating Wellington Central from about 9am on Sunday. All going well we'll be back in business late on Sunday night."

ENDS


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