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Redfern Police Station has its formal opening - SSH June 2006

A good cross-section of the Redfern-Waterloo community was at the ceremony for the official opening of the new Redfern Police Station on Friday 19 May by the NSW Minister for Police, Carl Scully reports Trevor Davies in the South Sydney Herald June 2006.

It was a formal ceremony with the Police Commissioner, Ken Moroney and other officers in attendance with much braid and many medals in view.

The ceremony took place on the second floor. There was one humorous moment as the Minister and Commissioner came out of the lift to inspect the guard of honour. With a loud thud, the picture of the Queen crashed from its central place on the wall onto the floor! Could it have been an omen?

The Minister and Commissioner both acknowledged the work of Dennis Smith, the former superintendent, in taking Redfern police from its old dilapidated station in Turner Street to its new large premises in the Redfern Towers.

It was explained that the opening had been deferred in the hope that Dennis Smith would be back at work and able to attend, but it seems that he is no longer with the Force.

The Minister and the Commissioner talked about the increase in the number of officers at the station to its current number of 220. In April the Police Minister and Kristina Keneally, the member for Heffron, visited Redfern to announce that Redfern Station would get 10 extra officers. They arrived in May from the graduation class from the academy in Goulburn.

The NSW Upper House inquiry into Redfern-Waterloo expressed concern about the number of young police attached to Redfern and, in July 2004, the Police Minister announced a suspension of probationary constables at Redfern for a 12-month period.

However, Superintendent Catherine Burn told the Herald that late last year the Commissioner had conducted an inquiry into staffing levels at Redfern and, after a trial allocation of three probationary constables, it was decided that experience and youth were important to the staffing balance at Redfern Station.