New Georgia State Patrol Post Planned in Hart County
On Wednesday, the Georgia Board of Public Safety announced it has signed off on discussions to begin between the GSP and the Hart County Board of Commissioners.
The new post in the Gateway Two Industrial Park off SR77 at Exit 177 will be designated GSP Post 52 and will be an additional post in the area to the Toccoa Post in Stephens County.
Colonel Mark W. McDonough, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety and Georgia State Patrol Commander, said the new post would be staffed with 14 sworn personnel and a civilian employee.
The location at Exit 177 on I-85 will provide troopers with easy access to the Interstate when responding to calls and also to motorists who need assistance from the state patrol.
County administrator Jon Caime said having law enforcement there provides extra security for the community in that part of Hart County.
It’s a bit of distance from the Sheriff in Hartwell, so there’s not much protection in that area,” Caime said. “So this will provide constant protection in that area.”
From an economic standpoint, Hart County Industrial Building Authority Director Dwayne Dye says having a state patrol post in the Gateway II Industrial Park is also good for attracting new industry to the park, which is not yet fully developed.
“It’s the same as having a hospital close by, you’ve got great service from the City of Lavonia with police and fire protection. We’ve got a regional hospital now within five miles of the site and this new patrol office will add additional protection for people in that area. So I think overall from an economic development standpoint, it’s a big positive for us.”
According to Caime, the county will lease the land for Post 52 to the state. Caime says the building itself will be constructed using prison labor, but will paid for by the county.
“We’re doing the architectural and engineering work now,” Caime said. “The county will be doing the site work. So, probably about two months on the design and the engineering work that’s required and then probably another two more months in getting the site work done,” he said.
Plans are for construction on the new post to begin this summer, according to Caime. He said the county will use about $600,000 from their SPLOST funds to pay for construction.
State Representative Alan Powell of the 32nd District, which includes Hart County said Wednesday he sees the new post as a benefit to the area.
“The presence of this Georgia State Patrol post on I-85, our gateway to Georgia, will pay long-term benefits for the citizens of Hart and Franklin Counties by enhanced public safety and a visible increase of state law enforcement. This partnership and the strategic location of this GSP Post will add to the marketability of the Gateway Industrial Park and adjacent industrial properties as desirable high security areas,” he added.
Colonel McDonough said the assigned counties for the new patrol post will be determined later this year.
Currently, the surrounding GSP posts of Washington, Toccoa and Athens are each responsible for five counties.
The Toccoa Post oversees Hart, Franklin, Stephens, Banks and Habersham counties.