SAVANNAH, GA. (January 9, 2014): The City of Savannah has begun construction on a $3.9 million building to house the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department Public Training Facility.
The 20,451 square-foot building is being constructed on the front lawn of the SCMPD Administrative Services Building that opened last May at 3401 Edwin Street to house the police financial offices, quartermaster, personnel and property room areas. That building was formerly owned by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and was renovated for $2.8 million of Special Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) funds.
The new training facility is funded by SPLOST monies as well at $3,889,000.
“This is something we have been working to bring about for several years and will help us train officers more effectively and efficiently,” said Metro Police Chief Julie Tolbert. “Training is vitally important to a police department and especially to ours. It never stops and constantly must be reviewed, redefined and reinstated. This building is essential as we move forward and we are grateful to the city and voters for providing the funds.”
To Metro Training Director Gary Taylor, the building facilitates the future:
“The bottom line is this facility will allow us to move into the next generation of law enforcement training,” he said. “It will benefit the officers and ultimately our citizens and our community in an effort to make it safer.”
The training program currently is housed in two areas of Savannah Mall, at former military property on Dean Forest Road and in locations borrowed from other law enforcement jurisdictions. Consolidating the classes under one roof will allow the seven-person staff to work more flexibly and cooperatively.
Ground was broken for the one-story building in December and installation of site utilities and preparations of footings are currently underway. Completion is expected by Nov. 17.
It will house training offices, administration offices, class rooms, exercise room, tech room, demonstration space and lockers/showers. It also includes a tiered seating auditorium that can provide a venue for ceremonies and a computer lab to take advantage of ever-developing area technologies.