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APD gets $28K for additions to station

By By Robbie Byrd, News Editor
The Atmore Police Department will soon be getting some long needed improvements to its current station.
The Atmore City Council announced last week at its meeting the APD received more than $28,000 in grant money to begin remodeling efforts at the station.
The remodeling will affect several areas of the APD, including officer work rooms and the dispatch office.
Currently, officers are confined to an office in the back of the station to complete necessary paperwork after responding to calls and investigations.
Chief Bruce Lovett said after the addition of new office space in the back of the building, officers will have more room to complete their duties.
"We'll be creating a new patrol room, sort of a combination locker room and bathroom," Lovett said. "We will also have a computer terminal station, all in the same room."
The new area should add around 540 sq. ft. to the APD station.
Lovett said that the current layout separates these areas, making it cumbersome and inconvenient.
"We currently have these things going on in three different places," Lovett said. "Doing things in three different areas is a problem. With this new addition it will free up those areas we are currently using for storage."
Lovett said that the department plans to use one of the vacated rooms as an evidence room, something the department is in need of.
The grant for remodeling efforts was received by the city from the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.
The dispatch and communication center is another area that is currently undergoing plans to be remodeled.
"We're planning on remodeling that area as well," Lovett said. "We might even possibly be relocating it, but we haven't set any plans yet. We're still looking at many possibilities."
Lovett said that with the addition of a new console communications system, as well as ironing out some glitches in the current dispatch system, it will allow the department to operate more effectively.
" Currently there are several different radios that the dispatcher has to use to (communicate) with other personnel," Lovett said. "This new console will allow all that to happen in one place."
The new console is estimated to cost from $6,000-$8,000. The cost will be funded in part from a federal matching grant.
Lovett said the APD also plans to fix some long standing technical problems with its antenna and other communications systems.
"We're trying to eliminate some problems we've had," Lovett said. "By incorporating everything into one console, I think we can achieve that."
The work is expected to be completed by the end of August.