Wetumpka Police Department building construction

Daniel Dye / The Herald

The main lobby of the Wetumpka Police Department will include a police badge inlay in the floor.

Wetumpka police chief Greg Benton estimated the Wetumpka Police Department will move into its new building in March as workers cut baseboards and ran camera wires.

Benton said the new building offers several benefits, such as the amount of secure space the building has to house a roster of 29 police officers and additional staff is ample.

“We finished out space on the second floor,” he said. “The second floor had no heating and air. The building is going to be really nice once it is completed. There has been a lot of progress here in the last couple of weeks.”

Benton also pointed out the fact the building used to be a bank that has a walk-in safe.

“Close the vault door and you cannot get in,” he said. “This will be our evidence room. It will have fisheye cameras. It worked our really well.”

Benton said another benefit is the location of the building which is expected to improve response time.

“Most of the calls we make in response to traffic accidents are out here on (Highway) 231 plus there are just a lot of major businesses out here,” Benton said.

Benton said there will be something special on the tile of the first floor just past the main entrance.

“He we will have a Wetumpka police badge inlay in the flooring covered by acrylic,” he said.

While a final dollar figure for remodeling the building is not in yet, Wetumpka Mayor Jerry Willis previously said most of the laborers and materials being used were procured in-house by the city.

“I have put together a team that will be doing the remodeling who are already on the payroll,” Willis said. “We will purchase the materials in house. That will save us money.”

The city purchased the building from Wells Fargo in September 2019. The building appraised for $1.5 million and the city bought it for $500,000.

Currently, the Wetumpka Police Department is working out of city’s administration building.

Its previous building located at Marshall and Coosa streets on the west side of the Coosa River was destroyed by the Jan. 19, 2019 EF2 tornado.