The former Madison County 911 Dispatch building has been vacant for two years, but it will be finding a new life soon and will become a productive addition to the Madison County Sheriff’s Department.
The facility had been used for Madison County 911 dispatch for 30 years but was replaced by a more modern facility with state-of-the-art technologies and equipment.
Now, 24 months later, a more productive future for the structure is unfolding – a renovated training facility for Madison County’s Sheriff Department.
The population explosion that Madison County has experienced during the past decade is creating the need for more uniformed officers as well as the need for training those members of the Madison County’s Sheriff Department.
“Madison County’s rapid growth makes it crucial that we grow the capabilities that comes from training to put the best officers in the field to protect the public,” said Dale Strong, chairman of the Madison County Commission.
Sheriff Kevin Turner stated, “We appreciate our county commissioners for working together towards a common goal by expanding and modernizing a facility into a state-of-the-art complex that will provide needed and useful training to our deputies as well as provide training to agencies throughout the state of Alabama. This training facility will create new opportunities that will strengthen local law enforcement with modern and state of the art training opportunities to ensure the highest level of training standards.”
Madison County Sheriff Department public information officer Brent Patterson said 180 sworn deputies take part in extensive training each week and are required to complete additional hours of training each year. “From the day a deputy is hired they are in the hands of our team of training experts until they go to the police academy.” Once the deputies complete the academy, Patterson said they will remain with a field training officer for a minimum of 10 weeks and this training will take place at our new facility, once opened in the spring of 2023. Currently, training is taking place in a structure on Wheeler Avenue.
Training never stops. Training will always remain an integral part of a deputy’s career as well into the future, Patterson added. That training includes a simulation room that simulates real life situations, including traffic stops, domestic violence calls, and dealing with armed encounters. This training will provide benefits such as increased interaction between our citizens and law enforcement, crime prevention programs and citizens academies.
Patterson said eventually the facility will also offer training programs to other law enforcement agencies from across the state.
The Madison County Commission has appropriated $1.8 million for renovation of the 10,000-square-foot building. Chapman Sisson is the project architect, and The Highland Group is the contractor.
Ray Garner is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News.