By Christian Marnon
The prospect of a new headquarters for the Spring Hill Police Department will be up for discussion in June when the Board of Mayor and Alderman moves to approve the 2017-2018 Fiscal Year Budget.
Presently, the SHPD is operationally divided into two locations. The existing police headquarters is located on Royal Park Boulevard, which houses the Patrol Division, Detectives Division, and chief’s office. The remainder of the departments, including evidence, records, and support training, are located inside Spring Hill City Hall.
Prior to 2012, all police operations were located downstairs inside City Hall. Due to space constraints, police administrators approached Aldermen about the possibility of a temporary facility. The solution was the Royal Park Boulevard headquarters, which the police department has been leasing since February 2012.
In February 2017, City Administrator Victory Lay announced that it was time to move forward on supplying a larger facility for the police department and consolidate operations.
Police Chief Don Brite said the new building would provide a “standalone headquarters” that houses all police departments under one roof. It would support all functions for all three divisions, including specialized units, training, space for public meetings and interview rooms.
“Everything associated with a police department would be housed in this building,” he said.
Lots of work needs to be done before the building comes to fruition, however. The SPHD is currently in the process of contracting an architectural firm, Brite said.
“We just advertised an RFQ request for qualifications for architectural firms to submit their plans,” he said. “We will open those bids on March 24 and at that time we will start the process of reviewing the firms’ plans and hopefully we’ll be able to decide [who] we want to go into contract with.
Brite said the new headquarters has been in discussion for more than four years, but he recognizes that the Board of Mayor and Aldermen has a surplus of issues to tackle.
“It’s a matter of what direction we’re going with funding,” he said. “BOMA has a tough decision to make with so many projects going on. I hope we can get a headquarters dedicated solely to the police department. I think it would benefit both the department and the community.