WORK on the $16.3 million Somerville police station is finally underway following an official ground-breaking ceremony last week.
The station, at the corner of Eramosa Rd West and Coolart Rd, is designed to accommodate 150 police officers and staff, and will include a uniform branch, highway patrol, crime scene unit and short-term holding cells.
It will also feature public consultation and interview rooms, a mess room, changing rooms, gymnasium, administration areas and conference room facilities that can be adapted for emergency management.
The 2500-square metre police station, which will operate 24 hours a day, is expected to be completed in March 2015.
Police and Emergency Services Minister Kim Wells was joined by Hastings MP Neale Burgess and Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius last Wednesday for the ground-breaking ceremony.
Mr Wells said the station would boost emergency response capabilities, reduce crime and improve community safety in the Western Port region.
“The station will provide a 24-hour police response that will allow quicker responses to incidents and meet the needs of a growing population across the region,” he said.
The station would provide first-response coverage of Somerville, Moorooduc, Hastings, Tyabb, Pearcedale, Baxter and Langwarrin South, Mr Wells said.
Plans for a police station in Somerville were first announced by the state government in 2011 following extensive community lobbying.
The site was selected in September 2012 after $2 million was allocated in the 2011-12 state budget for land and draft design proposals.