The Groveport Police Department has officially opened its new headquarters, and Police Chief Ralph Portier said officers are getting quickly acclimated to the new space.
The department moved from 655 Blacklick St. to 5690 Clyde Moore Drive at the beginning of the month, Portier said, but it's taken a lot of work to unpack and organize everything in the new facility.
The newly renovated space on Clyde Moore Drive includes an expanded officers' locker room, holding facilities and detention cells, an evidence room and separate offices.
"We've pretty well moved in, but we're still tweaking things and acclimating to where things are since we've tripled the size of our facility," Portier said. "We officially started having roll call on Friday (March 7) at the new building."
He said he's very appreciative of the way community members have embraced the move.
"Already people have said that they like the ability to have the confidence that when they come in, they have some anonymity they might not have felt at the Municipal Building, and we also have a total separation of prisoner processing from the general public," Portier said.
He jokingly added that during the first week in the new headquarters, police, "had not had an opportunity to host a guest in the prisoner facility yet."
Groveport City Councilmen Ed Dildine and Shawn Cleary both mentioned at the March 10 council meeting that they had toured the new facility and believe it should be a source of pride for the community.
"I was quite impressed with the new facility," Cleary said. "It's given us a lot more room and will be a lot safer for everyone; it's a great addition to the city."
Portier thanked council for approving the project and agreed on the safety factor, adding that moving out of the Municipal Building helped clarify the separation of what the city staff is responsible for and what the police department is responsible for.
Council approved legislation last summer to borrow approximately $1 million for the project. At the time, Groveport City Administrator Marsha Hall said buying the building, remodeling it and doing other renovations to what was police department space in the Municipal Building would be much less expensive than constructing a totally new police facility -- something she estimated would cost the city $5 million.
"The cost of the building was $472,500 and remodeling cost is $162,533," she said in an email Feb. 14. "Miscellaneous costs (additional parking area, furniture, security, IT, a generator, etc.) is $311,464 for a total of $946,497.
"We borrowed $1 million and the remainder is being spent on moving the building department into the vacated police area of the Municipal Building."
According to city Finance Director Jeff Green, with the police department moved to the new location, work is already well underway at the Municipal Building.
"No sooner had the police department gotten moved out than they began taking down walls and constructing the new building department space," Green said. "This is going to be an awesome space for the building department and city engineer."