The finishing touches are being put on Cessnock's new police station, which is expected to be open for business on Wednesday, March 3.
The new station will front Cumberland Street and will house about 100 staff - including general duties police, Hunter Valley Police District detectives, the proactive crime team, highway patrol, traffic services, events and licensing, domestic violence liaison officers and crime prevention officers - with room to grow.
"Having all of these resources under one roof, in the middle of town, is great for the community," Cessnock Police Station officer-in-charge, Chief Inspector Michael Gorman said.
"Everyone is excited about moving in. It's a really great opportunity to work in a state-of-the-art facility.
"It may be a once-in-a-career opportunity. I've been a police officer for 38 years and I've never worked in a brand new station."
Cessnock was allocated $13.5 million in the 2018-19 NSW budget for the new police station.
Demolition began in November 2019, and construction - led by Patterson Building Group - started in early 2020, with the goal to move in by March 2021.
Police have worked in demountables during the build to allow the existing station to remain fully operational.
Work continues at what is now the rear of the property, with demountables to be removed and a carpark and driveway to be completed.
An extension on the weatherboard cottage (which was the original police station in the early 1900s) will be demolished, with the heritage-listed building to remain on site for offices and storage.
The memorial stones for Cessnock police officers Alan Thompson and Ray Scorer (who died in a car accident in 1977) have been installed at the front of the new building, surrounded by bricks from the old station - which were made at the Nulkaba pottery.
An Aboriginal mural is to be painted in the foyer.
An official, COVID-safe opening is expected to be held mid-year, once all of the work is complete.
Member for Cessnock Clayton Barr said it was great to hear the station would soon be open.
"Once in every one hundred years our local police get this type of modern new building," he said.
"The extra space will allow our local police force to grow and keep up with our growing population and needs.
"The Cessnock station is a hub in a very large area of police activity.
"This new station will be at the centre of the police work that feeds out to our many local towns and villages because in reality we no longer have small local stations operating in each location."