KAYSVILLE - Just before turning the shovel to start work on a new police station here, Police Chief Sol Oberg thanked city leaders for their "fantastic" support of the police department and for their interest in bettering the community.
"It's a great day for public safety," he said, adding that the new facility will help the Kaysville police department as it works toward "keeping our kids safe and making it a place we can conduct business and raise families the way we want."
City council members and others involved in planning and construction of the new facility were the first to wield shovels in the kick-off event on Friday, March 14. Police officers, department staff and city administrators, along with supportive family members, also took turns breaking ground and tossing dirt at the symbolic event.
"We're excited," said Mike Criddle, who has served as an officer in the department for over five years. Criddle was a new to the deparatment when a bond measure to finance a new station was rejected by voters in 2010. "It was disappointing," he said. "Even at that time we needed to move out of the (existing) building."
Now, he said, officers can feel the love and support of the community.
"Ultimately, it helps us do our job better to have the right facility and the right equipment," he said.
Mayor Steve Hiatt told the gathered crowd that the need for a new police facility was first brought to the Capital Facilities Committee in 2004, so it has in fact been a concern for 10 years.
"This is the very least we can do to show our appreciation for those who serve," said Hiatt. "Thank you for your dedicated service. We admire you, we appreciate you, we love you."
Sen. Stuart Adams, R-Layton, said construction of a new police station was long overdue and commended Chief Oberg for his leadership of the department.
"Nothing is more important to a city than safety," he said.
The improved police station, a 20,000-square-foot building, will be financed through a $5.466 million lease revenue bond. It is expected to take a year to build, and should be complete by March of 2015, according to Oberg.
Councilman Jared Taylor said the new building will have a positive impact on the safety of Kaysville going forward and will help bring in and keep officers that are "high caliber, highly trained, highly qualified and highly skilled, to ensure the safety and well-being of the city."