State Patrol breaks ground on a new post - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

State Patrol breaks ground on a new post

By Jay Polk - bio | email

SUMTER COUNTY, GA (WALB) - They broke ground on a new home for the Georgia State Patrol Thursday in Sumter County. They had been in the old building for a while.

"We've been there since 1961," said Sgt. Mark Ellis, Commander of Georgia State Patrol Post 10.

And despite some recent additions, they were getting a little short on space. The new building is much larger than the old one. And it's location along the highway - rather than in Downtown Americus - is a bonus.

Sgt. Ellis said, "when we have a call or anything, we can have quick access to where we need to go."

Right now quick access to U.S. Highway 19 is a bit of a problem. Construction along the highway in Sumter and Lee Counties has been in the works for a while, according to State Senator George Hooks, a Democrat from Americus.

"Highway 19 has been on the planning stages since the late 1980s," he said.

While the construction of a Georgia State Patrol Post may not seem like a sign of economic development. Officials here are optimistic about what's going to happen once the construction of Highway 19 is finished.

The future home for GSP Post 10 is an area that's becoming more popular for businesses. Like real estate in general, it's all about the location. And four lane highways are good locations for business and industry.

"It's important for transportation reasons and service delivery and delivery of materials," said Angela Westra, President of the Americus/Sumter County Chamber of Commerce.

There are other construction projects along the highway as well.

But according to Westra the big one is "Phoebe-Sumter. The new partnership between Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital and what used to be Sumter Regional Hospital."

Even the new Georgia State Patrol Post will have a positive economic impact. The post will serve as the central dispatch for all of the state patrol posts in Southwest Georgia. That means more dispatchers.

"It will actually bring 13 more jobs to Sumter County," said Sgt. Ellis.

For those who have been pushing the construction for a long time, projects like the new state patrol post are a nice reward for years of hard work.

"To have that all that on the U.S. 19 corridor is a tremendous boost to public safety, tremendous boost to public development," said Sen. Hooks.

And their feelings about the end of the construction couldn't be any clearer.

Sen. Hooks said, "oh, I'll feel great. I'll be, just, very pleased."

And certainly many other people here will be too.

 


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