News 12 First at Five / Monday, Feb. 25, 2013
Many are pleased a new substation opened up along Mike Padgett Highway. (WRDW-TV)
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- "It did have leaks in the roof. The air conditioning, heating and air, which once again, since we didn't own the building, the repair bills would have been $40,000 to 50,000," Capt. Steven Strickland said.
Those problems are gone now that the South Precinct is at its new location off Mike Padgett Highway. It's a sturdy building, this time, on property the Sheriff's Office owns.
"We're coming up into the main area of the substation that the deputies use," Strickland explained as he walked down the hallway into their new muster room.
Strickland says getting a new building isn't the only benefit of moving.
"Makes us more efficient, especially what we're looking for. Again, open to the public, and you know, more visible. Everything we're looking for is right in this building," Strickland said.
It's an office now, but their new rooms used to be old jail cells.
The deputies say they couldn't be happier with their new space.
South Augusta drivers are happy, too.
"This substation is a great move, I believe," said south Augusta driver Vanessa Brunson.
Tony Green works at Proctor & Gamble. He's driven Highway 56 every day for the past 23 years.
"It's real dangerous. I mean people speed up and down these streets, and they try and make these lights," Green explained.
He hopes this new precinct will change some people's driving habits.
"I think people will pay attention now that they see the patrols patrolling the area now. Even me, I had to watch my speed, too," Green said.
"You're obviously going to have more deputies coming and going to the substation, more visible patrol cars. Hopefully that will make people slow down," Strickland said.
As they settle into their new offices, Strickland says being even farther on the south side has no downside.
"Everything is better. It's better for the public. It's better for us. I think it's a win, win for everyone involved," he said.
The south substation stayed in its last location in the Southgate shopping center for 14 years. They tell News 12 they hope to stay even longer in this new building.
They still have a few things left to bring over from the old location, but Strickland says they'll have everything moved in by the end of March.