Madisonville planning to move police department to new building

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MADISONVILLE, Tex. (KBTX) - Madisonville is moving forward with major plans for their police department.

As part of their new budget, the city plans to spend $750,000 to create a new police building.

The department will move across the street to a vacant church property the city already owns.

City leaders say the big problem is space. Right now city departments are all in the same building.

"We have already started our process on it. We are just a very small building," said Camilla Viator, Madisonville City Manager.
"We house the police department and city hall and our public works, so we are going to move the police department out so they can have a little more space to be able to do their job," she said.

Police work in some close quarters. Their copy machine is in a main hallway.

"It's definitely convenient but it's kind of in the way," said Chief Herbert Gilbert, as he gave a tour of their current office area.

A captain's office also doubles as a storage area for new equipment to be installed.

"Captain's pretty much in charge of taking care of the whole Watchguard system. There's no place to put it. They made a little joke out of it. It's the Watchdog warehouse," said Gilbert.

The new building will have a second story and room to grow the department. It will also be a place for privacy.

"We need a little bit more confidentiality when we're interviewing people so it's gonna be a plus for us over there," he said.

"They need more space and we also need more space at the city hall. Right now workers are working on top of each other," said Mayor Bill Parten of Madisonville.

"And as soon as they move out then we will expand. Not build onto, but just go back and remodel," he added.

"We are hoping to have it done in about 14 months," said Viator.

"The land and the old church building had been purchased many years ago and so this year we have it in our budget to go ahead and move forward," she said.

"We're proud to see that we're going to be able to have our own place where we can better serve the citizens," said Gilbert.

Right now the police department has 12 officers as well as an animal control office.

City leaders tell KBTX code enforcement will also move to the new building.