City, County Break Ground on Safety Complex

Leon County will be receiving a new cutting edge public safety complex within the next two years.

Tallahassee Chief of Police Dennis Jones, Sheriff Larry Campbell, Mayor John Marks and other city and county officials gathered Wednesday morning for a ceremony which marked the beginning of the construction of the $47.5 million dollar Leon County-City of Tallahassee Public Safety Complex.

Jay Smith, vice president of the Ajax Building Corporation, which is overseeing the project, said construction should begin next week.

The 90,000 square foot facility will be located on Easterwood Drive next to the Capital Area Chapter of the American Red Cross. It will house the public safety emergency communications center and will provide for citizens a more rapid response time to emergency events.

Other offices that will be housed in the complex include a regional transportation center and administrative offices for the Leon County Emergency Medical Services and the Tallahassee Fire Department and will have room for a TFD fire station in the future.

Although the building will be set up for expansion, Bill Behenna with the city communications department said there are no plans for the facility to house branch offices of the Tallahassee Police Department, Leon County Sheriff’s Office or the Florida Highway Patrol due to the existing size of those offices.

“They are already equipped with dispatch offices,” said Behenna.

The Tallahassee Regional Transport Management Center will work in conjunction with the Florida Department of Transportation in an effort to curb traffic congestion by utilizing a freeway management plan covering an 18-mile stretch of Interstate 10.

The plan will use a system of traffic monitoring cameras placed at each mile. It will also use an incident monitoring system and electronic messaging signs near exits to provide motorists with up-to-date traffic information that will reduce the amount of congestion near interstate exits.

The construction project will create 1,250 construction jobs in the area. The building will be built to withstand wind damage from a Category 3 hurricane and an F4 tornado. The project is set to be completed in 2013.

“This facility will dramatically improve the ability of all public safety agencies in Tallahassee and Leon County top respond faster and more efficiently,” said John Marks the ceremony.