The NSW Police presence in Narrandera Shire has received a big boost thanks to an increase to full strength and a revitalised police station, Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke announced today.

A total of 12 officers are now serving Narrandera, including an officer at the newly refurbished Barellan Police Station, which means more boots on the ground protecting the community.

“We’ve seen NSW Police go through a reengineering process which has been designed to meet the needs of rural communities, and Narrandera is a great example of that process having real results,” Ms Cooke said.

“Narrandera now has a full complement of 12 officers working to keep the community safe thanks to police reengineering, which means we will see more officers out on the streets of Narrandera and Barellan.

“The Barellan community now have their own police officer and won’t have to wait for an officer to come from up to 60 kilometres away to respond to an incident, and they will also have a police officer who is part of their community.

“Not only is the police force up to full strength, we have also seen Barellan Police Station undergo refurbishment, which is wonderful for the Barellan community.

“It has been refurbished with a coat of paint inside and out, new toilets and a new office area, and new safety equipment to protect the officer, called a jump barrier, is being installed to protect the officer on duty.

“The station was boarded up and was in a very poor condition. Now it’s as good as new, which has breathed life into a lovely old Federation-style building.’

Chief Inspector John Wadsworth described how a full complement of officers will benefit Narrandera.

“The town now has adequate policing to run multiple shifts and be not just reactive but proactive, getting out into the community a lot more,” Ch Insp Wadsworth said.

“The police officers live in the communities which they serve, which means they are much more effective at addressing crime.”

Senior Constable Brett Ryan is based full-time at Barellan and is enjoying a distinct change from his previous posting.

“I like it here compared with Penrith, it’s a lot quieter,” Sen Const Ryan said.

“Everybody that I’ve worked recommended going to the country, and I’m absolutely loving it.

“My focus is community-based. I like getting out and about in this small community, and they know I’m approachable. The police station is almost complete and ready to reopen and, once it is, people can come in and introduce themselves.

“If there’s something going on, people can come and let me know, and I can fix it.”