Saturday, December 2, 2023

York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office is Getting a New Facility

The proposed two-story building will feature a new training wing and other needed spaces. (WYDaily/Courtesy of York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office)

YORK COUNTY — A new station for the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office (YPSO) is currently in the planning phases.

The new facility is planned to be constructed on county property located along Operations Drive, adjacent to the York County Emergency Communications Center and Public Safety Building, 301 Goodwin Neck Road, which currently houses the sheriff’s office, Fire and Life Safety and Social Services.

This is one of the largest building projects the county has built since the current courthouse.

If all goes well, the project could be completed by early 2023. 

This would be the first dedicated sheriff’s building in the county in quite some time. 

After the previous sheriff’s office was torn down in 1998, the unit was moved to its current location with the intention to only occupy the building for a few years. 

But over 20 years later, they still remain. 

After a 2018 Space Study, the York County Board of Supervisors decided that the space for the sheriff’s office was inadequate for the size of the agency.

York County Administrator Neil Morgan said that this plan was part of a larger facility problem that went beyond the sheriff’s office.

As the current complex houses three departments as well as the Emergency Communications Center, it was clear that one departments needed to be relocated and the Board chose to build a standalone sheriff’s law enforcement building.

Morgan said that the Operations Drive location holds multiple advantages, as Sheriff J.D. “Danny” Diggs and the Board of Supervisors wanted the new sheriff’s building to continue to be in close proximity to the other public safety departments. 

“When you look at the geography and the transportation network of the county, the Operations Center there on Goodwin Neck is basically about the optimal place in terms of transportation where you can get to about 80% of the county pretty efficiently from that location,” Morgan said.

The project is currently in the design process, with a plan to begin the site work phase in the fall.

“The design is far enough along now to have answered the question, ‘Does it work there? Does it fit there?’ and the answer is ‘yes it will,’” Morgan said.

The new building is currently in the design phase, with the site work planned to begin in fall 2021. (WYDaily/Courtesy of York-Poquoson Sheriffs Office)

James City County’s police headquarters, 4600 Opportunity Way, served as the blueprint model for the new building, which will be similar in size and function.  

The proposed two-story building will be around 50,000 square feet, with a new training wing and meeting spaces.

Major Ron Montgomery said that he is most excited about having a specific training wing on the first floor of the new sheriff’s office building. 

“We certainly don’t have anywhere close to adequate space to do that now,” he said.

There will be visitor parking, as well as a secure parking for the staff and law enforcement vehicles located behind the building.  

The public entrance will include bathrooms and a community room, which Major Montgomery said will present an opportunity for the department to interact with civic organizations within the community, including training seminars such as the department’s hand-gun safety courses.

“I think being able to bring the citizens into the building and interact with us on a regular basis is only going to enhance our relationship with the community,” Major Montgomery said.

There will also be spaces for various divisions, such as control and investigations. 

One of the areas the department is particularly limited to is Evidence Management. The new building will have a modern arrangement for vehicles that are being examined for evidence, as well as space for examining smaller pieces of evidence that are being stored during pending court cases.

The proposed construction time is currently set at 345 days, with 45 days built into the schedule to allow for possible for bad weather.

As the site plan gets finalized, work will begin sometime in the fall, with construction on the main facility beginning around summer 2022, Morgan said.

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