Turlock police, fire staff transfer to $30 million building downtown

mrowland@modbee.comSeptember 7, 2013 

    alternate textMarijke Rowland
    Title: Arts & Entertainment Writer
    Coverage areas: Fine arts, pop culture and other entertainment throughout the Central Valley and foothills.
    Bio: Marijke Rowland has been a reporter at The Bee for 15 years. She grew up in the Midwest and has a degree in journalism from Indiana University. She has covered several beats at The Bee from education to entertainment to employment.
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    E-mail: mrowland@modbee.com

— Moving day has come for the police and fire departments.

The Police Department began moving its administration, records and investigation departments out of the old North Palm Street headquarters into the new $30 million downtown Turlock Public Safety Facility on Friday morning. The Fire Department also moved its administration from the old site to the new site this weekend.

The new building at Broadway and Olive will be open to the public starting at 9 a.m. Monday. The old site closed at 4 p.m. Thursday for all public business. Starting next week, anyone who needs to contact police, file a report, get records or anything else will do so at the spacious two-story, 57,000-square-foot building next door to the Carnegie Arts Center.

"I need to find some wood to knock on, but so far, the move is going pretty well," said Turlock Police Capt. Steve Williams. "We'll be ready for our Monday opening."

Next week, dispatch will make the move from the 21,000-square-foot old headquarters to the new site. Starting Friday, patrol will come over, completing the personnel transition into the new facility.

Police and fire have packed up and prepared for the move for the past two months. Moving trucks arrived at 7 a.m. Friday to haul files, furniture and more to their new home a little less than a mile away.

Turlock Fire Chief Tim Lohman was among those who moved his office Friday and was unpacking and organizing his new space. He said the new site, which is more than twice as large as the old headquarters, will give the department plenty of elbow room and additional space for training. Once open, more than 30 percent of the new facility will sit empty in anticipation of future growth.

"It's very exciting. This is a great new addition to downtown Turlock," Lohman said.

Four Turlock Fire Department administrators are moving into the Public Safety Facility. The building also will house 124 Police Department employees, including patrol officers, detectives, administration and dispatchers.

Some construction of the facility is still being completed, and the architect's "punch-list," a to-do list of last-minute fixes, is being worked on. Turlock police officer and spokeswoman Mayra Lewis said she expects work crews to be in the building through the end of the month.

A public dedication of the new building is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Sept. 28, and a community open house for the Turlock Public Safety Facility will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 26. The event will include a free barbecue, SWAT demonstrations, bike safety giveaways and more.

Bee staff writer Marijke Rowland can be reached at mrowland@modbee.com or (209) 578-2284. Follow her on www.twitter.com/turlocknow.

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