VERGENNES, Vt.- For the first time in more than 30 years the police in Vergennes have a new home.
As you drive around the bend into Vergennes from Route 7 the first thing you'll see is the police department. And Saturday officers proudly showed off their new home.
“It just helped the overall operation, not to mention the fact that it did a lot for the quality of life for the officers that are working here,” said Chief George Merkel, with the Vergennes Police Department.
Merkel says the new facility is a huge upgrade from their old location.
“Obviously it outlived its usefulness,” said Merkel.
For more than 30 years the police department was located inside City Hall where Merkel says six officers were crammed into two or three rooms.
“The facilities they had before were not only inadequate but unsafe,” said Joe Klopfenstein, a member of the Vergennes City Council.
Last year voters approved the one point five million dollar bond to build this brand new facility.
“We designed a facility that was voted in by the city in the fall of 2013 and began construction in September,” said Klopfenstein.
“We have all state of the art equipment as far as recording equipment, audio visual. We have holding facilities that are safe not only for the officers that have people in custody but the people that are in custody themselves. We can interview people, we can process people, we can assist people on a much more timely basis, more efficiently,” said Merkel.
The city of Vergennes is still working out what to do with the old space in City Hall the department left behind. They've bounced around a few ideas but nothing is set in stone just yet.