The Livingston Police Department will lease additional downtown space to alleviate overcrowding in the current building.
Livingston Police Chief Ray Smith said between the city’s growth and new personnel mandates from the state, the current building has reached its capacity. He said a building next to the existing facility has been identified for the expansion.
“This building was built right about 30 years ago,” Smith said. “With the typical manpower then and the Fire Department, we’re two agencies in one building. Just the growth. There’s been growth in 30 years. It has served its purpose.”
Smith said the Detective Division does a lot of work that does not have to happen in the main building. He said the department is currently spread out through three different buildings doing city business, and this move might not ease the congestion on all three spaces, but it is a start.
“We have looked several times and had a little bit of open conversation about maybe moving our Detective Division over there just to try to alleviate a little more space over here in the main building,” Smith said.
Smith said the department has the green light from the city to begin leasing the new space. He said before they do, they will continue to inspect it and make sure it is up to code and follows all state and federal regulations.
“It was very clear by our city mayor, City Mayor Curtis Hayes that it is a short-term fix,” Smith said. “I don’t think it’s the answer and he doesn’t think it’s the answer. I think we’re going to have to look at something to expand our building. It’s just the growth.”
He said the building could potentially be used to hold officer training courses as well. He said before that decision can be made, the department will have to be sure that the building is in compliance with what the state requires for a training facility. He said whatever the building is used for, it will be an improvement from the current situation.
“We share spaces,” Smith said. “Two or three may be in the same space, and everybody needs space to be able to do their work. That’s what it’s actually going to consist of. Just getting folks spread out and not be on top of one another.”
Smith said he appreciates the city understanding the issue and working alongside the department to find a solution, even if it is only a temporary fix. He said at any rate, Livingston Police have done a great job protecting the city’s residents and will continue doing so, just more comfortably.