engineer

BPS move to armory is great thing for city

Published 8:39am Friday, July 13, 2012

On Saturday, July 14, at 10 a.m., Bainbridge Public Safety will officially move into its new headquarters, in the former National Guard Armory on Louise Street. Gen. Jim Butterworth, the adjutant general of the Georgia National Guard, will visit that day to officially transfer ownership of the former Marvin Griffin National Guard Armory to the City of Bainbridge.

There are multiple reasons why this is an excellent move for the city. First, the armory is a beautiful building that had been sitting vacant, after the U.S. Army National Guard moved the Bainbridge transportation unit to Thomasville, Ga., in 2011. By moving the BPS headquarters to this location, it will ensure that the building, which was originally built in 1955, is maintained for years to come.

Secondly, the move will allow BPS to have better coverage of its jurisdiction. The current BPS headquarters on East Shotwell Street will be used as a satellite fire station, and the West Bainbridge Fire Station will also remain in operation. This will give the BPS three stations, ensuring quicker response times to emergencies.

Finally, the move is relatively cost-effective. The City of Bainbridge spent $120,000 to purchase the 18,925-square-foot building in 2011, after the National Guard declared it as surplus property. The budget for the BPS renovations is $100,000 — half from the general fund and half in forfeiture funds gained when BPS seizes drug dealers’ assets. That’s just $170,000 in public funds, for a building of considerable size and quality and which fits a need. One reason costs were kept low is because much of the renovation work was provided free of charge by city employees, including BPS officers.

No matter how you look at it, this is a great deal for the citizens of Bainbridge.

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