Press Release: City of Tallahassee & Leon County Board of Commissioners
The new Public Safety Complex (PSC) opened, under budget and on time, today with a ceremonial first call, ribbon cutting and tours of the primary work spaces within the 100,000 square foot, $47.5 million facility. The complex is a joint effort of the City of Tallahassee and Leon County.
The PSC is the new home for public safety professionals from a variety of key public safety agencies and operations, including the Consolidated Dispatch Agency (CDA), Leon County Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Tallahassee Fire Department (TFD) Administration, the City of Tallahassee Regional Transportation Management Center and the Leon County Emergency Operations Center.
During normal business hours, 140-150 employees will work in the building. As several work functions require 24-hour staffing, more than 30 people will regularly be in the facility outside of business hours. During an emergency activation, the PSC’s population will grow to between 350-400 people. The building’s flexible and forward-thinking design will accommodate any future staffing increases.
Public safety dispatchers for all services will now work together in the same facility under the CDA. This helps ensure that when assistance is needed, the closest and most appropriate unit – whether it be Fire, Police, Sheriff or EMS – will be sent. In emergencies, those seconds will help save lives.
“It is critical that our community has access to emergency services to quickly and effectively respond to those in need,” said Mayor John Marks. “This new facility will allow key public safety units to work more closely together and to share vital information, often in situations where every second counts.”
The Public Safety Complex is located at 911 Easterwood Drive, directly adjacent to the roundabout at Weems Road and Easterwood Drive near the American Red Cross building. The state-of-the-art facility will be able to withstand winds from a Category 3 hurricane or F4 tornado.
The total project budget was $47.5 million. This expenditure was split between the City of Tallahassee and Leon County. Roughly $30 million was invested in construction and $7 million in information technology, with the remaining dollars being spent on engineering design, furnishings, etc. Approximately 86 percent of construction dollars were kept in the local economy.
“During these challenging economic times, we made responsible investments in our community. And we created local jobs when it was most important,” said Leon County Commission Chairman Nick Maddox. “That’s the story of this state-of-the-art facility; something the community wants when it’s needed most. This project is an example of working seamlessly together for the benefit of our citizens, our neighbors and our families.”
The project’s construction team was spearheaded by Ajax Building Corporation and Construction Support Southeast, a joint venture. More than 25 percent of the project was completed by certified Minority Business Enterprises or Women-Owned Enterprises. During construction, an average of 150 people worked on-site each day.
In addition to the traditional public safety functions of the facility, the PSC will also help improve traffic flow in the community. The Tallahassee Advanced Transportation Management System that was previously housed at City Hall has expanded. The system will also continue to control the more than 350 signalized intersections in Leon County. The new Regional Transportation Management Center (RTMC) is a joint effort between the City of Tallahassee and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).
FDOT’s involvement includes a freeway management system for a 19-mile segment of I-10, featuring traffic monitoring cameras every mile, congestion/incident detectors every half-mile and dynamic message signs within two miles of each local I-10 interchange. This system provides an integrated network between major local roadways and I-10, meaning more efficient monitoring of travel conditions and increased safety on our roads for motorists. FDOT provided funding for a share of the RTMC and all the funding for the Freeway Management System.
This morning’s grand opening ceremony featured remarks from Chairman Maddox, Mayor Marks and Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell, along with Tallahassee Police Chief Dennis Jones, Leon County EMS Chief Tom Quillin, TFD Chief Cindy Dick, City Manager Anita Favors Thompson and County Administrator Vincent S. Long.