Another bonus, aside from more storage, is the garage at the facility. Easley said they frequently have vehicles associated with crimes that have to be processed. Currently, that process has to take place under an overhang outside of the police department, no matter what the weather is like.
“There, you can pull it into a secure facility and be out of the elements entirely,” he said.
A weapons locker at the old military facility also will provide a highly secure place to store weapons, he said.
One other thing they are looking forward to is more office space, Easley said. Since the bid for the facility was won, they have been steadily increasing personnel with the Public Safety Sales Tax, which has become more problematic.
However, the Smalley ARC building should help with those problems.
“It’s probably bigger than the entire police department is now,” he said.
The facility has just more than 32,000 square feet. The only drawback may be separation of the two operations.
“We’ll make sure there’s good communications between patrol operations and investigations, though,” Easley said.
Between email and phones, communications will be maintained and police officers will be able to come and go just as easily as they can at the police station, he said.
The next step is the bidding process for the building rehabilitation.
“There’s going to have to be some rehabilitation renovation to meet our needs,” Easley said.
Price said nobody knows when that bidding process will actually take place “at this stage of the game.”
Specifications for the bid would need to be discussed and finalized first. Another thing to take into consideration is that under the PSST, they will have to wait, Price said.