This story was corrected on 6/28/2017 at 2:00 p.m.
By Latricia Powell—
The new building for Tarleton State University’s Police Department (PD) is almost fully completed. Tarleton police Chief Matt Welch, said the inside is mostly finished, but there is still some work that needs to be done on the outside such as fencing and air conditioning.
Tarleton PD moved into the new building, located on 895 N. Harbin Drive, on June 5. The athletics department will be taking over the old PD building. Tarleton PD shared a lot of space with the athletics department back in the old building including the bathrooms, IT closet, janitorial closet, etc.
About a year later, they started doing serious work on remodeling the building. “You learn things about buildings as you go through the process, and then you’re restricted on certain things because to bring it up to code means up to current ADA standards. It’s to make those with disabilities have accessibility.”
Chief Welch says they also have a new position. Shelly Brown, who worked with Tarleton housing, will officially be the Assistant Director of Transportation starting July 1. She will oversee the shuttles, buses, parking lots, etc.
Police and parking will both be in the new building. Although students still have to go to the building to obtain a visitor’s pass, just about everything needed for parking can be accessed online. Students can get permits, pay tickets, and appeal online, as well. Students will be receiving emails this summer encouraging them to get their parking permits online so they can skip waiting in line at the Police building in the beginning of the school year.
“Although it’s a little further of a walk for students, it is easier to find,” said Welch about the new building.
Regarding the effect of the new police building being a little further away, Chief Welch said, “I think anchoring a corner of the campus reminds people there are police, and I think for the criminal element, that’s good to know.”
Those who come to the grand opening will likely get to see all of the officers’ desks and offices, the conference room, storage for records, a small kitchen, bathrooms, a washer and dryer, a room with some lockers and a section to clean their guns. “This is the place you don’t want to go. It’s the interview room,” joked Welch.
Chief Welch also said that along with the new building, they did get another upgrade.
If a dangerous situation occurs in close proximity to the EOC (Emergency Operation Center), there must always be a secondary one, which is what their new police department building will be. They also have a generator outside of the building that’ll keep everything in the building running for three days straight. “We want to be self-sufficient, and that to me is important,” said Welch.
The grand opening will be on July 19th at 10:00am.