Tuesday January 23rd, 2018 12:58AM

New Suwanee police facilities opening Monday

SUWANEE - The Suwanee Police Department will host a grand opening ceremony, tour, and demonstrations at its new training facility/substation in the Suwanee Gateway from 4 p.m. -7 p.m. Monday.

This grand opening event will include guided tours as well as firing range demonstrations and an opportunity for the public to try their hand at dealing with simulated tactical situations in the new training classroom.

The 7,100-square-foot building was designed by Tunnell-Spangler-Walsh & Associates (TSW) and constructed by Hogan Construction. The substation provides the Suwanee Police Department with office space for its training and community relations officers, a firing range, and training facilities that will serve law enforcement personnel from throughout the region, but most importantly, says Chief Mike Jones, the facility makes a physical statement about the City's commitment to public safety.

"Citizens getting off I-85 and those traveling through the Gateway area will see that Suwanee has a police department and that our community is concerned about public safety and how it impacts our residents," says Jones.

The City has worked to enhance the substation's visibility, building it close to the road and clearing land around the northbound interstate exit ramp, for example. "We've done everything we can to make the building as visible as possible," says Jones, "and this should have a positive impact on crime rates."

While the substation will not be staffed 24-7, it does provide direct access to the police department's dispatcher, a safe zone for those in need, and work stations that can be used by officers on patrol to complete reports or meet with citizens. The substation doubles as a training facility with a classroom for up to 40, firing range, tactical defense room where officers train in hands-on self-defense, and a virtual room with equipment installed by Meggitt that provides simulated training in use of force.

"We don't have to use force very often," said Chief Jones, "but when we do, it can be a matter of life or death. So having this kind of training available to us on a daily basis is invaluable. This building will help move our training to the next level."

Design and construction costs for the training facility/substation, located at 2966 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road, totaled approximately $1.99 million and was funded primarily through SPLOST re
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