Work is expected to begin soon on the Statesboro/Bulloch County Public Safety Training Building, where local law enforcement, firefighters and other public safety officers will be able to train at a state-of-the-art facility without having to travel away from town.
The public is invited to a groundbreaking ceremony next Monday, July 23, at 8:30 a.m. at the site,
37 Industrial Blvd., off Highway 301 North, according to a release from Brannen Smith.
The ceremony is hosted by the Statesboro Police Foundation and the Bulloch County Sheriff's Foundation. The facility is being funded through donations to the two foundations, he said.
At a public meeting back in May, Statesboro police Chief Mike Broadhead said the SPD and Bulloch County Sheriff Noel Brown and the Sheriff's Office are equal partners.
"This is a joint project between two entities. Currently there is an aging cinder block classroom and bathrooms at the (firing) range, but it is in poor condition and the classroom is pretty small," he said. "The idea is to build a new classroom building that will include bathrooms and indoor storage for ammunition, targets, etc. Currently most of those items are stored in shipping containers on the property, or held at the sheriff or police headquarters buildings and taken to the range as needed."
In addition to local law enforcement, many state, federal and local agencies use the training center, including the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Marshals Service, federal probation and Drug Enforcement Agency.
The Statesboro Fire and Bulloch County Fire departments also train there.
Both the Statesboro Police Officers Foundation and the Bulloch County Sheriff's Foundation are private groups of citizens who formed the entities to provide support for the law enforcement agencies' community programs, officers and deputies and the departments as a whole.
Each foundation is involved in community events, hosts fundraisers and helps to connect law enforcement with the public. Each foundation has a Facebook page, where more information can be found.
Donations to each agency, earmarked "training facility," will go toward the new training location.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.