WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A new building could mean improved efficiency for public safety and plans are being set in motion.
Soon all area public safety departments might be under one roof in Lycoming County. Change is coming to Lycoming County and officials hope it will help better serve residents.
“The efficiency and savings that could be experienced over a long period of time, a higher level of professionalism with all of us in the same area, we believe that that type of facility would attract positive attention,” Chief Damon Hagan said.
Hagan with the Williamsport Bureau of Police is working to make a new police department building a reality. But it wouldn’t just house the officers. He’s hoping to bring in other public safety departments as well.
“We have some lofty goals with regard to the idea of a public safety building, but we believe that we could achieve that goal,” Hagan said.
The building could house the fire department, emergency medical services, county forensic offices, and the city codes department, to name a few. An ad hoc committee has been formed to help seek funding for a feasibility study.
“I prepared some general drawings, showing the location of the building, showing how the building can function, so forth,” Joseph Girardi, codes administrator and ad hoc committee member said.
The police department is currently located in City Hall. The city hall building has been there since the 1800s. It needs a handful of repairs and it’s not ADA-compliant.
“Not really set up for a modern government. The security of the building is lacking,” Hagan said.
“It’s a need. We need to do it and it’s not like we can wait another five or 10 years. It’s something we need to get on right away and I’m hoping with the new mayor-elect coming in, we can sit down with a group and weigh our options out, see what we can do,” Girardi said.
The project could cost up to $10 million. Mayor-elect Derek Slaughter says: “We have to ensure we are being good stewards of our tax dollars. At this point, we are unable to make an informed decision regarding City Hall or a public safety building in my opinion.”
Williamsport chief of police says in an ideal world, he would like to see this new building built in the next two to three years.