Construction on a new 8,100 sq. ft. building for the Southport Police Department started a month ago, and a new report says that the project is already moving ahead of schedule.
The building will replace the agency’s current 400 sq. ft. office that Southport Police Chief Tom Vaughn described as a “roll call room” with a “closet” as an office for the chief. “We’re really excited. This has been about a year in the works,” he said.
Aside from the Southport Police, the building will retain the old building’s other tenants which include the mayor’s office and the clerk treasurer’s office. Slated for completion by June 2018, the new building costs an estimated $1 million and as promised by the mayor, will not cause any tax increase for Southport residents.
Among the many safety features of the new building, one of the biggest selling points is the safe room that will be built into the front of the building. “If someone is running away from somebody, they can go in after business hours and lock the door and there’s a 9-1-1 phone,” said Vaughn.
Additionally, the doors of the new building will have an electronic lock that is activated during an emergency situation, setting up lockdown areas in case an active shooter enters the building.
In-house training will be available with the new Firearm Simulator Room, which will be the first to be opened to the community. Different scenarios will be played on video displays installed on three walls and police officers can train inside using simulator guns. One of the building’s new rooms will also be reserved for certified training.
In honor of Lt. Aaron Allan, who is the only officer in the history of Southport Police to die in the line of duty, a memorial will be built alongside a flagpole along the building’s front area.
Located at Worman St., the building will be attached to a 3,500 sq. ft. training center.