After months of anticipation, the boys in blue (and gold) at East Tennessee State University now have a newer, brighter place to call home.
The Public Safety office moved into its new headquarters in the offices attached to the new parking garage last week, and the transition went about as smoothly as could be hoped for, Lt. John Orr said Friday.
“I’m sure we had a few problems, but I honestly can’t think of any right now,” Orr said in the freshly carpeted and painted offices. “We did have to set up two dispatchers to run at the same time while we switched over, but everything went as expected.”
The office and its staff of about two dozen came to the garage after nearly 40 years on the other side of campus, in an office that eventually grew to be cramped and outdated.
Orr said the department now has a lot more room to roam, compared to the previous accommodations, with new perks and amenities.
The dispatching center, which maintains radio contact with officers, can monitor 217 surveillance cameras scattered around campus and receives alarms from multiple buildings, is now separated from the rest of the offices by walls and windows, making for a much quieter work environment for Public Safety personnel.
The new offices also offer an interviewing space, a conference room and a waiting area for visitors to the department.
“It’s going to look and feel more professional over here compared to the old building,” Orr said. “We should be a little easier to locate here at the entrance to campus, too, once they get all the signage up.”
The officers have been waiting to move into the new space since last summer, when the parking garage was originally scheduled to be completed.
After a series of construction delays, the 1,200-space garage opened at the beginning of April for students’ vehicles, but the office of Public Safety waited to relocate until after graduation, choosing a time when fewer students were on campus to move the emergency communications equipment.
Orr said the Office of Parking Services would take up residence in the previous Public Safety Office after it’s renovated, which he said should be completed before the beginning of the fall semester.
The parking office was previously mated with Public Safety in the building, where visitors passes could be distributed through the drive-up window, but the office’s personnel were moved into the Financial Services Office in Burgin Dossett Hall when the campus’ police staff grew to be too large for both to be housed there.
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