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Hodgenville City Police moved into a new home Friday.
The police department is in the two-story educational building formerly owned by First Baptist Church on West High Street. It’s next door to city hall.
The brick building was built in 1953 and was purchased, along with the former church building, with Lincoln Bicentennial funding. The second floor is not in use and has been sealed off.
The new location of the police station is a “big plus” to the city, Mayor Terry Cruse said.
“City Hall, the police department, the courthouse and jail are all here together,” he said.
Public access to the station is gained through the door facing West High Street. Although the building is open around-the-clock, there may be times when an officer is not available immediately. For those times, residents have use of a red emergency phone in the lighted foyer. It’s the same phone that hung on the outside wall of the old police station on North Greensburg Street.
Lt. Steve Johnson suggested moving the phone inside for the convenience of residents.
“People can come inside and not have to wait in the weather,” said Johnson.
Through the foyer is a waiting room that leads to Johnson’s office. Chief John Cottrill’s office is next door. A squad room contains desks for the other officers, a security monitor and an Intoxilyzer for breath-alcohol testing of suspects.
Each room is equipped with large windows that provide a good view of the city, Johnson said.
“We have a better view of the square and can watch what goes on down there,” he said.
About $10,000 was spent on repairs and transformation of the building to a police department, Cruse said. Asbestos tiles were removed and new wood flooring installed; heating and cooling systems were upgraded; and old Sunday school rooms were converted into offices and meeting rooms.
“I’m pleased how it’s turned out,” Cruse said. “It’s not an eyesore anymore.”
Cruse has offered one of the large rooms to the Main Street Association, rent-free. Main Street will have to pay for telephone service, but other utilities will be paid by the city – if the group decides to take advantage of the offer. The current Main Street office is on Lincoln Square.
Cruse hopes community groups will plan functions in the building as well. He envisions job fairs or public meetings taking place in another room.
“We’ve tried to make it a community service. (The building) will always be open and it’s a good way to utilize it,” he said.
The LaRue County Genealogy Society will move into the former police station on North Greensburg Street in a few weeks.