DANVILLE, Va. – It’s going to be another month before the Danville Police Department can move into its new state-of-the-art headquarters at the former Dan River Mills building near Caesar’s Virginia Casino.
Weather and supply chain issues have pushed the date back a few times this year for the $18 million project. However, the new move-in date is still within the Aug. 1 deadline.
The department is using the delay to prepare and add more notches to the toolbelt.
“There are some other opportunities that we have been able to use in order to enhance and make the building more secure and more functional,” Lt. Col. Dean Hairston with Danville Police said.
This includes a real-time crime center, where authorities can monitor cameras throughout the city.
The system has been in the works for about five years and includes hundreds of cameras in the River District. This way authorities can monitor activities without having to have officers on the ground.
There’s also a space for a second dispatch center for when the main line gets overwhelmed or goes down. Otherwise, the department would have to switch to Pittsylvania County, which records a call and sends it back.
“We can spin this up, put two more dispatchers on and take some of the pressure off the main center,” Lt. Hairston added.
For decades, police have been working out of a small space inside City Hall.
The new headquarters provides four times the space of the department’s current offices, from about 12,000 to 48,000 square feet, and access to tools they’ve never had.
“We believe the headquarters will be an excellent tool for recruiting and retention,” Lt. Hairston said.
Lt. Hairston is starting to lose track of the number of times he’s taken folks the half-mile through the place he and his fellow officers will soon call home.
From soundproof interview rooms to firearm training, locker rooms and a vehicle processing room, the list of things to look forward to grows as police transition into their new home.
All while knowing it’s a place for them, it’s really a place for the community.