GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. - Green Cove Springs is celebrating the opening of a brand new police department and emergency operations center Monday morning.
Mayor Roy Timberlake said this is a huge step forward for the city. A ceremony was held Monday morning and the public was invited to take a tour of the brand new facility. Timberlake said it is something Green Cove Springs officers deserved a long time ago.
"We're completely out of space over there," Timberlake said. "We made due with what we had, which is a testament to people doing that, but it's time to move on a be a professional police organization like we are."
The police department has been operating in what was supposed to be a temporary facility, located at 205 Spring St., just east of North Orange Avenue, but it's where they were based for 20 years. Now they're moving on to a brand new state-of-the-art building, located at 1001 Idlewild Ave. near Melrose Avenue. Timberlake said this is a huge improvement.
"We've had a number of chiefs from other communities come in who have complimented the city manager and chief for building a building that is not just an administrative facility that police will occupy, but that it's a building that is built with a purpose in mind to house local law enforcement in the emergency operations center," Timberlake said.
He said the officers were running out of room and sharing desk space at the old police department, but they never complained, showing their true dedication. But he said it came to a point a few years ago when they realized something needed to be done.
"Our Police Department had outlived that facility we had, what I refer to as a rolling PD," Timberlake said. 'By and large, they operated in police vehicles who came back to a place where they talked and met."
He said not only is this good for the department and the community, but that it also shows the state that this city is serious about expanding and bringing in new business.
"We are committed to investing in ourselves and helping other people to invest in us," Timberlake said.
Because the building is also the new emergency operations center, it's built for a category five hurricane, so it can withstand winds up to 160 mph.
"We can survive here for several days, if needed, during an emergency, with not just the police department, but city staff, department heads, elected officials and the emergency operations center, making important decisions for the city and the safety of citizens," said Police Chief Robert Musco.
Copyright 2011 by News4Jax.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.