Warner Robins Celebrates LEC Completion

6:26 PM, Apr 30, 2013   |    comments
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Eight years and about $9.45 million later, the City of Warner Robins cut the ribbon on the new Law Enforcement Center Tuesday.

It will replace a 1960's era police station, that couldn't handle modern technology or even basic functions. The roof leaks, and the air conditioner frequently dies, predictably, on the hottest summer days.

After all the work, the disagreements about location, design and money, city leaders finally saw their efforts pay off.

The building is two stories and 42,000 square feet.

Police Chief Brett Evans says it will allow his officers to do their job to the best of their ability.

He said, "Were able to pull together the professional staff and the equipment we have, and put it together in one place now. We can actually do the things were out here to do."

More than 100 people packed into the LEC's roll call room to applaud the buildings completion.

Gary Lee, the city's Redevelopment Director, guided a board through the effort. He said the building is in a prime location across from Robins Air Force Base's main gate.

He said, "It took an area that was blighted, and sits right in front of the gate of our largest employer. We wanted to show were just as concerned about this area as they are."

Assistant Police Chief John Wagner said the building will offer officers a proper working environment. Wagner said the facility shows taxpayers their money was put to good use.

He said, "This is top of the line. It's high tech. It's a purpose built building for the PD. It's something the citizens voted for."

Mayor Chuck Shaheen also praised the buildings technology, including the forensics lab.

Shaheen said, "There's only three forensic labs in the state. We have a forensic lab right here. That probably stands out."

Evans said the other labs are at the GBI in Atlanta, and the Valdosta Police Department.

The lab will not be fully operational until the city funds all the positions needed to run the lab.

Evans said his officers will start moving into the building in a few weeks. The building still has to pass a few inspections.

Despite the delay, Evans said it's a big day for the city. He said, "This is the biggest event, the biggest building, the biggest accomplishment for the City of Warner Robins in a great number of years."

Shaheen says part of the old police station could probably be renovated and used by the city for another purpose.

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