With the flip of a switch at about 9 a.m. Wednesday, the Hilliard Division of Police officially was to make the move from its old offices on Municipal Way to the new Norwich Township-City of Hilliard Joint Safety Facility at 5171 Northwest Parkway.

With the flip of a switch at about 9 a.m. Wednesday, the Hilliard Division of Police officially was to make the move from its old offices on Municipal Way to the new Norwich Township-City of Hilliard Joint Safety Facility at 5171 Northwest Parkway.

Police Chief Rodney Garnett said today (Thursday) will be the division's first full day in the new facility.

"We have been doing preliminary preparation, getting a lot of the technological things in place," Garnett said Monday. "We will have totally left this facility and moved across town as of Wednesday."

The moving process was to begin early Wednesday morning.

"At six in the morning we'll start doing some behind the scenes technological connecting," Garnett said. "Then at about nine o'clock a.m. we'll physically separate the radios and phones from the building."

Garnett described the process as "fairly seamless."

Garnett said police will have backup radios in the new building and will be able to dispatch officers immediately from the new facility to avoid any interruption in service.

The move was delayed several times because of technical issues related to police telephone and communications systems.

"We have been spending the last two weeks doing an orientation program with all the employees -- how to get through the building with the new security system, how things operate and where all the rooms are so they could get oriented to that," Garnett said.

The $10-million, 63,527-square-foot facility, built on the site of the old Norwich Township administrative offices and fire station 81, is shared by the Norwich Township Fire Department and the Hilliard Division of Police. It also houses the township's administrative offices and will be home to Hilliard Mayor's Court.

Approximately 24,142 square feet is dedicated to the fire department and 29,265 square feet will be used by the police. Another 10,120 square feet of common space, including the main lobby, meeting areas and a fitness center, will be shared by the entities.

Norwich Township funded the project and is leasing space to the city of Hilliard to recover the portion of the costs associated with the Division of Police facility.

Norwich Township firefighters and the township's administrative offices moved into their half of the building in early December.

A formal dedication ceremony and open house for the new building has been scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday, March 8. The public is invited to attend and the new building will be open for tours.

jdonahue@thisweeknews.com

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