The Sheriff's Office held an open house for the center Wednesday, Sept. 30.
Sheriff James Manfre and other Sheriff’s Office officials led several hundred residents and local officials on tours of the new Sheriff’s Operations Center, in the former Memorial Hospital building on State Road 100, the afternoon of Sept. 30.
Most of the rooms in the cavernous building were still bare — filing cabinets and shelves sat empty, as did the new firearms and ammunition storage area — because Sheriff’s Office deputies and other staff haven’t yet made the move into the facility.
The Sheriff’s Office hadn’t yet gotten an occupancy permit by the time the tours were conducted, but plans to make the move “any day now,” Manfre said, leading a tour of local officials.
The building is about 34,000 square feet, Manfre said, and the construction process involved gutting it.
“When they came in, they demolished down to the brick,” Manfre said. “This was a complete shell, right up to the ceiling.”
The concrete block corridors remained in place because it would cost so much to move them, Manfre said. Then steel girders were installed to bring the building up to hurricane wind force requirements.
Some of the improvements over the current layout, Manfre said, include a records storage area that is about five times the size of the old storage area, and a larger storage area for ammunition, which will let the Sheriff’s Office stock up on it when prices are low.
Manfre's office itself sits on top of the former emergency room. A group of pastors visited to bless the property before its reopening, Manfre said.
The new Operations Center also includes three interview rooms equipped with video and audio recording equipment, rooms for staff briefings, evidence lockers, a victims services office where victims of crimes can receive counseling, break rooms and exercise rooms, a special garage for forensic analysis of vehicles, and a defensive tactics room where deputies and police officers from the Bunnell and Flagler Beach police departments will be able to run training simulations.