"This new facility will meet several needs to accommodate our current and future growth for years to come. It will also support the proactive, progressive and professional agency that we are today," said Police Chief Charles Broadway.
The current department headquarters on Montrose Street in Historic Downtown Clermont was built in 1993 and was designed to serve 20 to 25 officers. When the city broke ground for the new building, the force had grown to 62. There are currently 70 officers in the department working from a building designed to serve one third the staff.
The headquarters was built by local contractor, Schmid Construction and provides 30,620 square feet of working space. The headquarters and grounds take up 6.5 acres of the 40 plus acres at the city's arts and recreation center property.
The total cost of the building including furniture and facilities was $8 million. Included in the structure is a vehicle lift that can raise 10,000 pounds for investigations, a crime lab, four holding cells including a DUI room with video and breathalyzer capability.
On hand for the ceremony were police chiefs from neighboring communities, city officials, the South Lake Chamber of Commerce, local residents, and the East Ridge High School singers, The Rhythm of the Knight.
The construction of the building was termed a "once in a lifetime event," during the groundbreaking ceremony last November which caused former City Councilwoman Ann Dupee to quip, "Not for me. This is my second time. I was there when we broke ground for the building on Montrose," she laughed.
Official plans for the old headquarters have not been announced.