Friday, September 20th, 2019

Groundbreaking held for new police station

Posted: Friday, April 26, 2019

A groundbreaking was held on Wednesday, April 24 for the new Huntington Police Department. The Hagerman Group of Fort Wayne will be the construction managers for the project.

After 20-plus years of trying to figure out how to squeeze the officers and their equipment into the available space, city leaders decided it’s time for a new building. The 17,000-square-foot, two-story building will be constructed in the north end of the city parking lot on Cherry Street, nestling into the corner of the L-shaped Huntington City-Township Public Library building.

The Huntington Police Department settled into the northeast corner of the City Building in 1904, more than a century ago. They have managed to make it work even as needs changed and the department grew from seven officers in 1914 to thirty-five today, taking over a disjointed series of tiny rooms in the City Building and spilling across the street into a former utility headquarters.

Its estimated the $4.8 million cost will be paid for with about $2.2 million the city has on hand, and a bond issue that will be repaid over the next 20 years with income from the existing Local Option Income Tax (LOIT) designated for public safety needs. Construction will begin soon and will be complete in about 12 months.

Huntington Police Chief Chad Hacker said, “The new building will give the department space to conduct and record interviews, hold training sessions, talk privately with people going through difficult times, store equipment and evidence. The lack of ventilation in the current storage areas sometimes leaves the offices smelling like raw marijuana.”

Hacker continued, “It was drugs in particular fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that can be deadly on contact, that was the tipping point in the decision that something had to be done.”

The photo at the left shows the groundbreaking for the new Huntington Police Station. Pictured from left are Police Chief Chad Hacker; Assistant Chief of Police Jay Kyle; Joe Blomeke, Huntington City Council; Mayor Brooks Fetters; Police Captain Chris McCutcheon; Dana Wannamacher, president, Barton-Coe-Vilamaa and Brad Smith, executive vice president, The Hagerman Group.