More than 100 officers, detectives and community and government leaders gathered to celebrate the expansion, which will work to catch the police force up to the growing needs of the city.
“This here today ensures that we grow with our community,” Sgt. P.J. Hardy said. “And that we set the stage so that we are prepared for everything that comes with that growth. We are so blessed and so thankful to everyone who has worked on this project. Those who have put the time, the effort, the money to get this thing off the ground and will house not only the officers that are here today, but the officers that will be coming onboard in the future.”
Lebanon police Chief Mike Justice said the new space will be office space for detectives, interview rooms and storage, a much-needed addition to the growing police force.
“We’ve terribly outgrown where we’re at now with the expansion of personnel that the city council and the mayor has given us over the past couple of years especially – We’re out of room, we have four people sharing an office. This is a much-needed expansion. It’s been 20-plus years since we’ve done anything as far as a police building, so we’re excited,” Justice said.
Lebanon Mayor Bernie Ash said the growth of the city means more facilities and officers are needed to not only solve crimes, but also prevent crime before it happens.
“With Lebanon growing at the rate that it’s growing, we need these things like the police station, the fire station and all those things. From the very first day I started running for mayor, I acknowledged that public safety is one of our biggest needs and concerns, and I think this station will go a long way to protect the public,” Ash said.
“Last year we had 70,000 calls. Now we’ve got about 100 policemen so just do the math. The chief told me that we’re doing very little prevention. It’s all going from call to call to call, and we can’t continue to operate that like. We need to have police out there preventing crime. We’re going to try and add eight more officers this year, and hopefully even more next year, and obviously when we have more policemen we need more cars, more equipment and more space as we’re doing with this station.
“The police department’s growth has been necessitated by the growth the city of Lebanon is experiencing. The beautiful and functional new station will be an asset to our city.”
The new station will feature an addition to the existing facility at 1017 Sparta Pike with a new 14,000-square-foot building area and is expected to be completed by the end of October 2019.