Murgon Snr Sgt Lance Guteridge with his parents Kev and Cynthia.
Murgon Snr Sgt Lance Guteridge with his parents Kev and Cynthia. Michael Nolan

Room to grow: New police station opens in Nanango

IN SOME ways, policing doesn't change.

When retired Senior Sergeant Kev Guteridge was officer in charge at the Nanango Police Station in the late 1970s one of his biggest concerns was finding a way to reduce the road toll.

Talk to any country police officer today and they'll tell you the same.

"We had a few deaths in road accidents, they're quite a big problem, we had three in one day,” Mr Guteridge said.

"We have plenty of fatals and when you serve in these kinds of stations you copped a lot.”

Mr Guteridge was one of the many dignitaries who assembled at the Nanango Police Station on Thursday, January 12, for the official opening of its new building.

"It was one of the most popular stations I served in, the people were exceptionally well behaved, you have very little crime while I was here,” he said.

"I had a terrific off-sider in the senior constable, Fred Crozier, we had a first class working arrangement.”

While the pair policed their beat Mr Guteridge's wife Cynthia answered the phones and kept the office running on time.

At a cost of $2.5 million, the new state-of-the-art building replaces the cramped demountable building out of which the officers worked.

Back in 2014 the officers approached Nanango MP Deb Frecklington about securing funding to add an extra room to the old office as 10 staff were working in a space built for fewer than half that.

"They had a demountable here, they also had one police car and they would share with the Kumbia Police when they were on holidays,” Mrs Frecklington said.

Initially the officers wanted an extension to the old demountable but that soon changed.

"When we looked into it we realised that they just needed a whole new station,” she said.

"They had sliding windows where the crims could get out, our closest cells were Murgon so on court day, and this was from when I was a lawyer, the police used to put the prisoners in the back of their pods and leave the air-conditioning on and they'd just sit out there in the pods in 40-degree heat days.

"I really do want to the thank Snr Sgt Jason Newton and his staff for their work in the community.”

Along with Mrs Frecklington, state police minister Mark Ryan and the Police Commissioner Ian Stewart offered their thanks to Nanango staff.

Mr Stewart said Nanango was a special place for the Queensland Police Service.

"Nanango had one of the very first police stations in Queensland, our history shows that it was about 1864 when the first police station stood here, that's exactly the same year the Queensland police service started,” he said.

"It's that partnership that makes policing so much better, it really is wonderful for the morale of our police and the morale of the area when something like this is built, signifying how important this community is the bigger scheme of the things in Queensland.

"We've currently got a staffing of 10 and this facility will house 22 so with this facility we're planning ahead and expecting a lot of growth in the area.”

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