Daphne moves ahead with plans for new Justice Center

By GUY BUSBY
Government Editor
guy@gulfcoastmedia.com
Posted 1/11/23

DAPHNE — Plans are moving forward for a new Daphne Justice Center that will allow some officers now stationed in precincts return to a central location.The city council voted Tuesday, Jan. 3, …

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Daphne moves ahead with plans for new Justice Center

Posted

DAPHNE — Plans are moving forward for a new Daphne Justice Center that will allow some officers now stationed in precincts return to a central location.

The city council voted Tuesday, Jan. 3, to approve engineering contracts to design and build the new facility. The council approved a contract with Dewberry Engineers for $84,548 and with Walcott Adams for $300,000.

The Justice Center, on U.S. 98, houses the administrative offices of the police department, city corrections and municipal court.

Police Chief Brian Gulsby said the current building, built in the 1990s, is too small for the growing city. He said some officers have been working out of other facilities, which sometimes makes planning and communication difficult.

"We ran out of room in this building some years ago," Gulsby said. "The entire patrol division got moved to the North Precinct up there by Home Depot. Separating the patrol division from admin and the rest of the department has caused some issues. We are looking forward to getting them back down here under the same roof so to speak. And there'll be some additional office space and storage space and things that are really in need."

The Daphne Police Department now has 64 sworn officer positions and a total of more than 100 employees, including civilian workers, Gulsby said. Three of the officer positions are vacant.

The city council voted in 2021 to set aside $1 million in surplus revenue toward the construction of a new justice center. City officials said at the time that the project is expected to cost several million dollars.

The project is expected to take about two years to complete.

The council voted also in 2021 to appropriate $1 million each to a new animal shelter and an amphitheater at Bayfront Park, using the revenue surplus.

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