CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. – Nearly two dozen Virginia State Police officers now have a new place to call home and it's good news for people living in the New River Valley.
"Any incident that would happen over in Floyd or Montgomery County, if the trooper who was assigned to Floyd or Montgomery County happened to be over in our office in Salem, it would be a tremendous response time from there to here," VSP deputy superintendent Tracy Russillo said.
Monday, state and local leaders cut the ribbon on a 3,600 square-foot mobile office, which will cut down on response times and give troopers working in Floyd and Montgomery Counties a home base in the community they serve. It's about 22 miles closer than their Salem office, which housed staff for four counties until now.
"The other office was so packed, oftentimes, they'd walk in and there wouldn't be a place to sit to do their paperwork so now they actually have a good place to do their work," Russillo said.
State Police have talked about the need for an NRV office for decades, but with steady population growth in recent years, the need has also grown. The Virginia General Assembly approved the funding for it last year.
"We ask more and more of these troopers every day and they deserve the best possible support from the taxpayers. That's why we gave them a big pay increase last year," Virginia House Delegate for District 7 Nick Rush said.
There's more work to be done, as this is only a temporary home. Officials hope to secure funding for a permanent building in the near future.
"This will mean better services for the citizens here and I think that's incredibly important," Russillo said.