The City of Fort Lauderdale will soon be getting a new police headquarters, replacing an older, outdated headquarters built in 1958.
Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis said, “The current police station was built 60 years ago. It has grown out of date given the needs of modern law enforcement and is too small to accommodate the size of the city’s current police force.”
The new headquarters will include 196,000 square feet over three stories. There will be a meeting center for the community to use, offering people and organizations from the Fort Lauderdale neighborhoods a place to meet with law enforcement personnel. It will be a location for press conferences as well.
“This new headquarters is long overdue and we have been working on it since before the pandemic. We had the bond for this headquarters approved on March 12, 2019,” said Captain Adam Solomon of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department. “We decided to continue working on the project during the pandemic and we expect to begin construction during the summer of 2023.”
There will be a training area and a firing range. “It has been hard for us to find a place for officers to practice with firearms. Now we will have a location where they can practice,” Solomon said. Training activities will take place on the second floor. “This will bring our training activities back in house and eliminate the rental fees that we pay to train elsewhere.”
There will also be a storage area in the building of about 10,000 square feet; the department now rents a 10,000 square foot warehouse off premises to store evidence.
There will be a parking garage that will hold 365 cars, with larger vehicles stored in a first-floor location.
“We expect a 20 percent growth for our department," Solomon continued. "We now have about 750 people in our agency, and we are going to be hiring more officers to serve our three districts.
"With the new headquarters, there will be technology to help with the monitoring of large-scale events and to keep an eye on the city. We will be able to have better training facilities."
All that doesn't come cheap: The new headquarters will cost about $143 million to build. About $100 million will come from the bond that was approved through a vote by residents in 2019.
The remaining $43 million will be paid for through a loan. Efforts were made to lower the cost of development and construction but because of the higher costs of building materials, inflation and pandemic-related issues, the cost of the project increased.
Construction will begin this summer and work on the headquarters should be done by late 2024. Additional work on parking, landscaping and new roadways will be complete by 2025.
The police department will continue to use the existing structure while construction work is underway, then it'll be demolished. The new building will be located adjacent to the current building. The address will remain 1300 West Broward Boulevard.
David Volz has been a reporter for numerous community news publications throughout South Florida over the past two decades, as well as the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Miami Herald and South Florida Business Journal. He covers local government, schools, sports, culture, faith groups and workplaces.