ROCKLAND, Maine — The public had its opportunity Tuesday to tour the new Knox County public safety building, a complex that provides more space for staff and equipment.
The new facility is located in the former VillageSoup building at 301 Park St. The project was paid for through a $2.5 million bond approved by Knox County voters in November 2011.
The county added about 2,000 square feet to the existing 8,000-square-foot building which now houses the Knox County Sheriff’s Patrol, Emergency Management Agency and the Knox Regional Communications Center.
The relocation of those offices also opened up more space in the adjacent jail for jail functions.
Knox County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Tim Carroll provided a tour of the facility. Each patrol sergeant now has an office and deputies each have their own work stations.
The facility provides for a concrete reinforced room for weapons and a modern evidence room where each officer can deposit evidence into a locker and deposit the key into the locker. The evidence officer then has access to those lockers from inside the evidence room and can log all the materials.
There are two interview rooms, a lab for things such as fingerprint analysis, locker rooms for both male and female officers, and a conference room.
The communications center has new space and equipment. Communications Director Linwood Lothrop pointed out the benefits of the additional space and technology. He said the center can display for all staff where the calls are coming in and use digital maps to show, for example, what roads would have to be closed off if there were an incident at a particular location.
A new 90-foot communications tower was erected behind the 301 Park St. property. There are is a large new generator that can power both county buildings in the event of a power outage.
EMA, which had been located in a section of the basement of the Knox County courthouse, has additional space including a large space for conferences.