South Australia Police’s new COVID-19 nerve centre is now operational at Thebarton Police Barracks as the Marshall Liberal Government continues to secure the state’s safe and strong passage out of the pandemic.
The Police Operations Centre (POC), which has coordinated the state’s COVID-19 response since March, will occupy a standalone facility in a $1.6 million move that bolsters South Australia’s capability to react to multiple emergencies at once.
The POC has been running continuously out of the existing Police Communications Centre complex on Carrington Street since COVID-19 swept across the country.
Police Minister Vincent Tarzia said the new Thebarton POC will operate seven-days-a-week with 30 staff, while the Carrington Street facility will remain available for other emergencies such as bushfires.
“The new Police Operations Centre is SAPOL’s nerve centre in the fight against COVID-19,” Minister Tarzia said.
“This is a huge boost for the safety and security of South Australia with high-tech communication infrastructure and facilities on standby every hour of the day and night.
“Although we don’t currently have any active COVID-19 cases, we must be prepared for the possibility of future outbreaks and this new hub has been stood up to help forge a safe path into 2021 for all South Australians.”
As part of the $93.2m in extra funding already allocated to SAPOL in the 2020-21 State Budget, the Marshall Government has injected $21.2m to boost SAPOL resources for COVID-19.
- SAPOL to accelerate recruitment of 72 cadets.
- The recruitment of 54 Protective Security Officers.
- Employment of SES, CFS volunteers on temporary basis to support border management.
- Establishment of POC at Thebarton.
“As we work towards a safer and stronger South Australia in 2021, the dedicated men and women of SAPOL deserve praise for keeping our communities secure during this challenging period,” Minister Tarzia said.
“Recent SAPOL data shows South Australia’s overall crime trend is down by almost 15,000 offences when compared to the same period 10 years ago.
“Given the circumstances, and SAPOL resources committed to COVID-19 duties, that is an incredible result for our community and should be acknowledged.”
Deputy Police Commissioner Linda Williams said the Thebarton facility is now the dedicated COVID-19 response hub that oversees compliance patrols, border duties and deployment of resources for the pandemic.
“The establishment of the second Police Operations Centre will allow us to continue our response to COVID-19 and free up the Carrington Street centre if it is needed to coordinate a police response to bushfires, floods and other emergencies,” she said.
“It’s unclear how long the COVID management team will be operational, so the additional facility will give us the opportunity to respond to multiple emergencies now and into the future.”