OAKLAND — The Police Department held its annual swearing-in and inspection ceremony Wednesday afternoon, but this year it was in a special setting.

The Police Department’s staff, as well as town officials and community members, gathered inside the frame of the new police station on Fairfield Street next to Town Hall. It was the first official use of the building, which isn’t yet finished.

“We’re standing in … the beginnings of the police department,” said Chief Michael Tracey after the officers’ inspection was completed.

Construction of the $1.05 million station started in April with a ceremonial groundbreaking.

A golden shovel, used at the groundbreaking and marked with the date construction began, was brought to the site for today’s ceremony.

“There’s one person in particular who really made this happen,” Tracey said before giving the shovel to Mike Willey, building committee chairman.

Willey accepted the gift on behalf of the whole committee and everyone else who has worked on the project.

“Everyone on the committee had a unique combination of expertise, and that resulted in the concrete in the ground,” he said.

The new building is an improvement from the previous police station, an old farmhouse that was in poor condition and posed safety risks to officers and the public, according to town officials.

“This was a huge win for Oakland,” Town Manager Gary Bowman said at the ceremony. Bowman said the old building “wasn’t a police department” and that this should improve the morale of the officers.

“We all like to have something purpose-built,” he said.

The next step in the construction, adding the roof, will start on Friday. The building is on schedule to be completed by Aug. 20.

Madeline St. Amour – 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @madeline_violet


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