Created: Thu, 02 Jan 2014 05:29:00 EST
Updated: Thu, 02 Jan 2014 09:36:43 EST
The city's police department plans to move into its new facility by the end of the month after construction finished early on December 27.
The brand new 4200 square foot building is adjacent to city hall. The $2.2 million project which includes a renovation of the former library into a municipal court is a much needed improvement to the old station which is cramped and relatively unsecured.
“It’s a maze,” Police Chief Sidney Andrews said. “The biggest problem with this building that we've encountered is security issues."
The current sally port door which is a secure entrance and exit to bring suspects in and out of custody has previously posed problems. The old sally port door was outside.
"We've had two inmates escape in the past three years," Andrews said.
Now there is a high speed roll up door. The garage like door then closes 15 seconds after the patrol car enters. Once it shuts, the inmate will be taken out of the car and placed in the new holding area.
Another upgrade includes the evidence vault where items are stored and processed.
“Our old evidence is a very small what we call a closet that we've made due with it's not a secure room," Andrews said.
Now officers will place evidence inside a two way locker located in the patrol room. The other side is in the evidence area. The city’s only two police detectives may enter the vault and remove the items from the locker to process.
The chief says these improvements along with others additions were financed using a Special Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST). He adds they will not only benefit the department but the community. All that's needed now is the furniture to arrive before the department can move in.
Chief Andrews adds that the facility is energy efficient which will save tax payers money.