All-in-one bank and police precinct opens

By Lindsey Connell - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  Residents in East Columbus will soon be noticing a heavier police presence.

City officials cut the ribbon Thursday on a unique building boasting a brand new precinct.

This all goes back to the penny sales tax Muscogee County voters approved back in 2008- most of that money being dedicated to public safety.

Since then, the Columbus Police force has expanded by 100 officers and some of them will now be dispatched out of the new building, specifically to neighborhoods on the east end of town.

Columbus Bank and Trust is charging the city just $1 rent per year to run the new East Columbus Police precinct out of their brand new banking center on Buena Vista Road.

The new bank combines CB&T's branches on Saint Mary's Road and Forrest Road.

"We needed to improve our facilities. Those branches had been in service for a long time. We were looking for an opportunity to do this. We were able to form a unique partnership with the city and the police department. We had some security issues at some of our other branches and the police were looking for an opportunity to create a more local connection to the community and this just worked out for both of us," CB&T President Billy Blanchard said.

Fifty-four officers will work out of the precinct, including three full squads and three relief squads. The office will be manned 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

"We needed to get a quicker response time to our citizens than them coming from downtown and back to wherever the call was, say as far out as Schatulga Road and Buena Vista Road. We have greatly decreased that amount at this time. The presence of officers out here will mean a lot," said Columbus Police Chief Ricky Boren.

The CB&T branch on Buena Vista Road will open for customers Monday, August 30th.

Boren says officers will start working out of the new precinct next week as well.

The chief tells WTVM he is hoping another private/public partnership like this will enable the department to open a new precinct near Veterans Parkway and Williams Road.

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