Plans underway for police department move

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The recent opening of the new rescue facility in Mount Olive cleared the way for the town to proceed with plans to relocate the Mount Olive Police Department in the rescue squad’s old home on Northwest Center Street.

The new facility officially opened last week on Northeast Church Road.

It is the third of four new rescue facilities planned in Wayne County to reduce EMS response times to calls within the county.

The former facility on Center Street, built in 1975, was turned back over to the town of Mount Olive, where leaders started seeing a new potential for the old home.

“Now, we are in the process of drawing up renovation plans. It is a wonderful facility, but there will have to be some changes made to accommodate the police department,” Town Manager Charles Brown said.

He doesn’t expect the improvements to require any major structural changes, he said, but there will have to be some interior tweaks.

At this early stage, a big issue is how to protect and save a mural on an interior wall of early day rescue personnel, the town manager said. The mural was painted years ago on a wall in a recreation area inside the building, and with needed renovations there appears to be no way to save it.

“We are working on trying to find a way to digitally save that wall mural,” Brown said.

It will probably take at least 90 days to get plans finalized as to needed changes to accommodate police operations, he added.

Brown said county officials did a “great job” in moving out and cleaning everything up, and the county still plans to power wash the exterior of the building.

“This is an ideal facility for moving in our police department. It has backup generator power, kitchen and sleeping areas, as well as office and recreation and parking,” Brown said.

“Realistically” it will probably take at least until the end of the year before the transition is completed and police will be operating there, he added.

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