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New Albany officials celebrate progress on new police headquarters

New Albany officials wear hard hats and hold shovels with construction equipment in the background at a groundbreaking ceremony for the city's new police headquarters.
Aprile Rickert
Construction on the New Albany Police Department's headquarters is expected to take around a year to finish.

New Albany officials and police officers held a groundbreaking ceremony for the city’s new police headquarters Wednesday — a standalone space they say has been long-needed.

Construction on the New Albany Police Department’s roughly 20,000-square-foot headquarters began around two months ago.

Chief Todd Bailey said the new facility at the corner of Spring Street and Scribner Drive will provide much-needed updates — including better work and storage areas, and more room for emergency operations and training.

It also means the city won’t have to rent space for its police headquarters. For decades, NAPD has operated out of the Frank C. Denzinger Criminal Justice Center, which is owned by Floyd County.

“It's the most exciting day in the history of the police department,” Bailey said. “It's the day that we finally are … realizing many, many, many months and even years of prep to have our own home. In the more than 150-year history of the police department, we've never really had our own home. It's always been either rented or shared property with somebody else.”

Bailey said recruiting is currently tough for police departments across the country. But he said the new upgrades could help the city draw in new hires to bolster the force.

“When we can display and demonstrate that we have something that a prospective hire might be interested in — for example, a facility where they feel like they can get the proper training to do their job — obviously, that's a big sell for us,” he said.

Construction began a few months ago on the New Albany Police Department's new headquarters.
Aprile Rickert
Construction began a few months ago on the New Albany Police Department's new headquarters.

New Albany Mayor Jeff Gahan said the ceremony marks “the beginning of a new chapter” in the city’s history that will increase safety and security for residents.

“The decision to construct a new standalone police station is not just a symbolic one,” he said. “It's a practical step that will help save tax dollars once spent on renting facilities for many, many years.”

The New Albany City Council approved moving forward with funding and lease plans for the project in January. Two members — Scott Blair and Josh Turner — argued not enough work had been done to consider alternatives.

The approval included an estimated cost of $12.6 million. Around $4 million will be split between American Rescue Plan funds and the city’s general fund. The remaining $8.6 million will come from bonds.

Coverage of Southern Indiana is funded, in part, by Samtec Inc. and the Hazel & Walter T. Bales Foundation.

Aprile Rickert is LPM's Southern Indiana reporter. Email Aprile at arickert@lpm.org.

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