PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Local News

June 12, 2014

Groves Police, multi-purpose building open for business

GROVES — Groves Police Department and municipal court have a new home.

The two departments moved into their new digs at 4201 Main Ave. over the weekend and were closed on Monday to make last minute adjustments, Groves City Marshal Jeff Wilmore said.

The new facility serves multiple purposes — police station, municipal court and emergency operations center. Construction of the center, located behind Bruce’s Market Basket, began in 2013. The 10,600-square-foot building was constructed to withstand 150 mph winds and can be used as a base during major events.

“We will be able to stay here during storms,” Wilmore said. “The building has 150 mph wind ratings and is elevated 16-feet above sea level. We have enough area for sleeping, a full kitchen, full laundry room, showers, etc.”

Should a hurricane threaten the area, first responders will be able to stay in the facility. Heavy equipment and other assets will still be brought to Lumberton as has been the procedure for such instances but the Groves location will be the city’s control area.

The new facility is more spacious then the previous site located on Lincoln Avenue which was constructed in 1974. Previously, officers shared small office spaces.

“We now have plenty of office space plus we have a professional evidence management and storage area,” he said. “We also have private interview rooms.”

The new interview rooms make it easier for the officer and the person being interviewed. In the past, people were either brought to a small office or a squad room. The squad room has been done away with and replaced with a report writing room/interview room with audio and video capabilities.

“We now have a state of the art facility to perform these duties in the highest quality manner,” he said.

Wilmore said a ribbon cutting and open house will be held soon.

Funding for the police station/municipal court/EOC came from a 2011 Port Security Grant totaling $2.5 million. The grant picked up 75 percent of the cost with the city paying for the remaining 25 percent.

In April, the City of Groves filed an application for a Port Security Grant for construction of a new fire station/emergency operations center. If approved, the grant would pay up to $1 million on construction projects.

The current fire station, at 6150 Short St., is approaching 60 years old. The city has already purchased 1.4 acres of land at Gulf and Washington for a price of $77,000 for future development and construction of a fire station.

E-mail: mmeaux@panews.com

Twitter: MaryMeauxPANews

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