Ribbon cuttings and building dedications are on the schedule for cities across the state almost every day. In Millbrook, Tuesday's dedication was much more than moving in a new building. It's the story of town, incorporated less than 40 years ago with 6,000 residents, now bursting at the seams with more than 15,000.
The seismic growth left the police department to function in an 8,000 square foot building, along with the local court. Now, the new facility boasts more than double the space, topping out at $3.6 million.
"We've come a long way, this is a big day for the police department, and the City of Millbrook," Chief P.K. Johnson explains.
Investigators who once shared an office, now have a legitimate workspace. And while it's no where anyone wants to visit, if you're booked in the jail, you likely won't have to share a cell.
Johnson adds, "In the old building, we would have an elderly lady trying to fill out a police report or asking for some kind of assistance, and one of my officers would come in the back door with a subject we arrested for shoplifting, acting belligerent, using language the public doesn't want to be exposed to or want to hear. That will never happen in this new building."
Dispatch also has ample elbow space. For officers, a briefing room. A facility expected to serve a city growing by an average of 350 residents every year. "I see us going from our current 31 officers, 43 counting support staff to 50 officers, 75 with support staff. This building will easily accommodate that." states Johnson
The municipal court doubled in size, anchored by pews from the Boone's Chapel Baptist Church, damaged in a tornado in 2011. Not to mention a considerable upgrade for Judge Pool.
An asset for the staff, and those who make a living marketing this city.
Lucretia Cauthen, owner of Lucretia Cauthen Realty knows the real value this addition brings to the city, "This makes it a lot easier to sell Millbrook, it makes it better for all of us."
A $4,000,000 bond made this project possible. No word on how the city will use the old facility, located across the street from the new building.
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