Detectives with the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office will have more elbow room to work on cases after a ribbon cutting signaled the completion and opening of their new office building.
The building is adjacent to the Liberty County Jail on Paul Sikes Drive. Prior to opening, detectives of the LCSO were in tight quarters sharing office space with jail administration and the county’s sex offender registry office.
Friday, the Liberty County Board of Commissioners, County Administrator Joey Brown, LCSO Sheriff Steve Sikes, Chief Deputy Jon Long and members of the community ceremoniously cut the ribbon and toured the new 5,739 square foot facility.
The building took one year to complete and cost $1,175,810 which was funded through the special purpose local option sales tax. The construction was done by Holland & Holland. Ellis Ricket & Associates designed it.
"We’ve come a long way from the old day of using a single wide trailer on Liberty Street," Brown said before the ribbon cutting.
Commission Chairman Donald Lovette echoed that sentiment and praised the work that was done by Brown, Sikes and the commissioners to get the building completed in a timely manner.
The sheriff addressed the community saying his father and grandfather would likely be proud of this recent departmental progress. Sikes is the grandson of former Sheriff Paul H. Sikes and the son of former Sheriff Bobby Sikes.
"If my dad and my grandad could see this today…I don’t know exactly what they’d say," he said. "My grandad worked out of a one room office and all his detectives worked out of that same office and all the deputies worked out of that same office….they would probably turn over in their graves to see this.
Sikes thanked the commissioners for their support of the project and said that the citizens should know the being built by SPLOST funds meant the building didn’t come at the expense of higher taxes.
"There are some people that really worked through this thing and made it happen for us," Sikes said. "I really want to thank the citizens of Liberty County. Back in 2009 they voted SPLOST into effect. This building right here is debt free the citizens need to know that and this is SPLOST money well spent."
The building is equipped with a conference room where the detectives can meet to discuss cases and events. Each detective is now provided with their own office. The building has several interview rooms, an evidence room, mini-kitchen, and entry area and restroom facilities for the officers and public.
Commissioner Chairman Donald Lovette said the building will allow the detectives to have the space they need to work more efficiently and better serve the community in public safety.
Sikes said he would like to see a few more departmental upgrades in the future.
"And to the Commissioners I want you all to know that we still have a double-wide trailer right over," he said during the ceremony. "All of our drug operations are being handled out of that trailer…so that’s next on the agenda."