MUSKOGEE, Okla. - An empty armory building in Muskogee will soon be turned into a public safety complex thanks to a partnership with the city and Department of Public Safety.
The current OHP Troop C location has been headquartered out of a small 3,000-square foot building along the Muskogee Turnpike since 1974. But that will soon change.
On Wednesday, the Highway patrol took control of a 26,000-square foot armory building on York Street in Muskogee.
The facility will allow troopers to provide additional community services and law enforcement presence.
Ownership of the armory was transferred to the city of Muskogee after it was vacated by the military. The city has leased it to the Department of Public Safety for next 25 years -- at a cost of just one dollar a year.
"In the state we are currently in, strained budgets and people competing for resources, for us to able to move into a facility like this, it's really a Godsend."
"It's a great space," said OHP Chief Kerry Pettingill. "We are going to look at how we can best serve the people of Muskogee better and this region of the state better."
The building will not only serve as the Headquarters for the Muskogee area Highway Patrol, it will also be used to as a regional training facility and will be home to a lake patrol and bomb unit. It will even be opened for community meetings.
One end of the building will house a new drivers license bureau to serve the public.
"So that we can accommodate more people," Pettingill said. "The facility that we have now is cramped as far as drivers license services are concerned. So it's meeting a lot of our needs."
DPS also believes having more troopers in Muskogee will increase public safety.
"I think there are number of folks who are truly affected by the physical presence of law enforcement," Thompson said. "So we will have our lake patrol folks here, troopers here in black and whites coming through town, training here because of this facility. So we very much have an increased presence in Muskogee."
Renovations on the building are scheduled to be begin soon. OHP hopes to move in by next June.
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