Albemarle Police prepare to open new headquarters
One iconic building in downtown Albemarle will soon be receiving new residents.
A new home for the Albemarle Police Department will soon be open in the former Home Savings Bank building at 155 W. South St.
Renovations on the building are nearly complete, according to Police Chief David Dulin.
The public will still be able to walk through the front doors as bank customers did for many years. After entering through the glass doors, people will be greeted in a new entrance with staff behind a glass window. A dropbox for out-of-date or unused prescriptions drugs will be located in the new lobby.
Video monitors will allow staff to monitor cameras at city facilities including City Hall, the Parks and Recreation Department and the landfill.
Office space will be on the front floor for administration along with an access point for officers. Evidence transition lockers will allow officers to maintain a chain of custody with the evidence department.
The first floor also houses new interview rooms outfitted with cameras along with meeting rooms for training.
Two original elements of the bank still intact are the elevator on the side and the old staircase on the side of the building.
On the second floor, expanded locker room space for men and women is now available. The original offices located on the second floor with glass windows have been left mostly unchanged, where detectives will have their offices.
The APD staff, which at any time in the day can mean as many as 28 people in the building, will have much more room in the new building, Dulin said.
Office space will also be available for any visiting law enforcement officers from the state or federal levels.
A large training space on the second floor looks out through the tops of the glass doors in the entranceway on the first floor.
A generator has also been installed to allow the department to operate in case of a power outage.
Dulin said the new building “will allow us to grow. Albemarle has been growing for years and we just need to catch up.”
The new building, he added, will also allow officers to have the most updated training facilities a city could have.
“It’s going to give a different mindset for our folks for the new way of policing (which) has changed just like everything else has. It’s a good way to hit that reset button,” Dulin said.
Dulin said the new building will allow APD to change the community’s perception of the department, being in a new building instead of the current one which previously was a bomb shelter and a post office before becoming its office.
Dulin said the new building allows APD to start over.
“Let’s rethink how we are policing. Let’s rethink how we are serving our citizens and doing it better,” Dulin said.
“(The new building) is going to help us be able to serve the citizens of the community much better because we have the room to grow….it just puts a positive spin on the city being able to use city buildings.
“We just took an old song and have redone it.”
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