By Jacob Allen
The Williamston Post
On Jan. 26 the Williamston City Police Department officially moved into its new location on 175 E. Grand River Ave., right next to City Hall. The Police Department spent 13 years in its old location on 1500 W. Grand River Ave. Then, the building was sold to Old Nation Brewing Co. This sale funded the construction of the new Police Station. In the meantime, the Police Department temporarily shared 781 Progress Court with the city’s department of Public Works. The ribbon cutting on the new, permanent location occurred on Feb. 12.
“The community wanted their Police Department back downtown. From my perspective this is monumental because the city of Williamston has never built a Police Department,” Said Bob Young, Williamston Police Chief of five years. “They have always just put the Police Department here or there or wherever is left over.”
The new building came with plenty of improved features including a professional conference room and a generator. The generator will allow the station to have electricity and continue operating when there are power outages in the city.
“I was pretty happy when I found out what they were going to do,” Said Don Bixler, owner of Limner Press in downtown Williamston and 10-year city resident. “A new building allowed them to put in the modern technology we need today and it’s a lot easier to do it from scratch than trying to install that stuff in an old structure.”
The construction and design processes were unique in that they were hands-on for the community. Many city officials were involved in the development of the new building.
“We assigned the police chief, the city treasurer and the city architect as the city’s representatives to work with the developers,” said Alan Dolley, Williamston City Manager of three years. “This allowed us to design a building we wanted.
“It’s a beautiful building. The police chief is excited, the assistant chief is excited and they say you couldn’t ask for anything better. I think our people have really kept the developer on task to produce what they said they could and it turned out great.”
Both the building and the location have received positive feedback. Nancy Williams, director of the Williamston Senior Center for 15 years, is pleased with the move.
“It will give a sense of presence in the town. When it was down by the water tower or out where the new brewery is you didn’t know it was there,” said Williams. “Right besides city hall will be more of a “we do have a Police Department and here it is, so watch it.”