KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The City of Knoxville cut the ribbon on its new Public Safety Complex on Wednesday.
The building located next to Fulton High School has been under construction for more than three years and repurposed parts of the old St. Mary’s Hospital. The complex houses the city’s municipal court, fire department and police department.
Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon said the new complex will make safety resources more accessible to the public.
“What resonates most to be about this project, is the lives that will continue to be impacted by the work we’ve done here,” Kincannon said.
Both the fire and police department will now be able to operate all of their divisions from one building.
“We’ve been able to locate our fire prevention, public education, EMS and fire administration offices all under the same roof for the first time ever,” KFD Chief Stan Sharp said.
KPD Chief Paul Noel said new recruits will also be able to be trained on site.
“This building includes an entire training floor with multiple onsite training spaces. That extra capacity is going to give us the ability to hold overlapping police academies next year and beyond. So, we’ll be able to train the future generations while enhancing the existing training for our veteran officers as well,” Noel said.
The fire department wing also features training facilities. Knoxville Fire Department Assistant Chief Mark Wilbanks said both departments being in the same place makes collaborative efforts between the two more efficient.
“We are now co-located with the City of Knoxville Police Department and the fire department so that puts all of public safety in one facility, which is nice because we have a lot of meetings and regular times that we have to get together with the police department for certain things,” he said.
Both departments will also feature museum areas with items that show each’s history. The municipal court is also housed in the complex, and has been operating there for a few months.
KPD’s real-time information center will also be inside of the complex, but is not open yet. The center is meant to enhance the department’s investigative capabilities. It will be integrated with 9-1-1 dispatch, giving staff the ability to relay information to officers who are responding to a scene.
The complex is located at 1650 Huron St in Knoxville.