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The original item was published from 1/7/2014 9:47:00 AM to 1/7/2014 10:04:34 AM.

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Posted on: January 6, 2014

[ARCHIVED] Plans Approved for New Law Enforcement Center

The Holly Springs Police Department is preparing to move next year into a new law enforcement center that will replace the small, century-old building next to Town Hall that has been police headquarters for a decade.

The new law enforcement center will be near the corner of Holly Springs and Bass Lake roads, virtually across the road from Fire Station 1.

Construction is set to begin this summer and take about a year.

Plans that the Town Council approved in December call for a two-story building of mostly brick. At more than 28,000 square feet, the new law enforcement center will be several times larger than the existing police station.

See a rendering.

Police Chief John Herring said the new station is needed not simply for additional room, but for space that is designed for the specialized needs of law enforcement.

"We need space that is functional for what we do," he said.

Examples include:

• Interview rooms
• Training rooms for firearms simulation and defensive tactics
• Fitness center
• Holding area for animals awaiting transport to the animal shelter
• Enclosure in which K-9s can move about while their handlers are at the center
• Secure evidence storage area
• A larger 911 communications center for police, fire and emergency medical services to meet future needs

The total project is estimated to cost between $8 million and $9.5 million. That includes $300,000 for road improvements and more than $1 million in telecommunications equipment for the 911 center.

Holly Springs is one of only three municipalities in Wake County with its own 911 center. The existing center cannot accommodate the additional staffing that will be needed over time due to increasing calls for service and evolving state regulations.

Call volumes at the center have doubled in the past 10 years.

The existing police station at 110 W. Ballentine St. totals only about 5,000 square feet, including the elevator and stairs. It was built just after the turn of the 20th century.

Over the years, the building was a dress shop, a drug store, and finally an auto parts store before the Town purchased the property in 2002. At that time, Town Hall was under construction on the adjoining tract.

Holly Springs' 60-member Police Department has operated in cramped conditions for years.

Nearly a third of Holly Springs' officers operate out of a training room at Fire Station 2 on Avent Ferry Road. Those include the traffic law enforcement team, K-9 unit, and school resource officers.

Evidence storage is locked away in an area of Town Hall that is not accessible to the public. Patrol cars and other equipment are scattered at several secure locations.

"It will be nice to have all of our operations under one roof," Capt. Mike Bornes said.

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