City Of Alachua Opens Multi-Million Doors To New Police Department by Stacey Samuel
It's gone from a small
store-front operation to a modern facility. The city of Alachua opened the
doors to its new million dollar police station, and WCJB got an exclusive look
inside the new building.
The city has grown nearly 20% over the
past 5 years, and with that have come more people to protect and more crime to
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Alachua Police Chief Robert Jernigan
once called a small, windowless room, darkened by old wood panels several
decades old, his professional headquarters.
Now is new office, illumined
by a wall of windows, sits in the 7000 square foot new police station.
"I've been with the department for
26 years, where i started out was a little building called
Sudsy-Dudsy...," said Jernigan.
The department has come a long way from those days in the old brick building,
on Main Street, which once served as the old Post Office.
The chief says that the building does more than elevate their capabilities,
"It's just excellent, the morale is so much better people have plenty of
"We had no room to expand whatsoever, we had no investigations to speak of
we had one office for at that time 3 sergeants," added Major Clayton Reiter, who's been with the force for 12
He says that it makes sense
to have a new station with the city's population rising so quickly. "Yes
there will be obvious increases in crime but we've seen no major increases that
hasn't run hand in hand with population," adds Reiter.
What the new place has is a lot more space for everything from police property
to detainees.Â Crime evidence used to be kept in a post office box, which
doubled as the boiler room. "Obviously we have room for additional
arrestees at the old facility we had space for one individual person,"
added Reiter who demonstrated how spacious the three new cells are.
In the last 5 years he says that the number of arrests made by the 23 officers
on staff has gone up 26-percent. And the 7 support staff they have now will no
doubt also grow.
The police station will soon be neighbor
to a new city hall, whichÂ is expected to open in mid-May, the combined
constructionÂ is just over 7 million dollars.Â
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