OAKLAND — After 25 years, $1.05 million and many hours of work from both the town and its residents, the Oakland Police Department finally has a place to call home.

On Thursday the department began moving its operations into the new building, which was constructed on Fairfield Street on the footprint of the old police station. During construction, the police have been using the Town Office’s basement as their headquarters.

“I think the officers will be happier here,” Capt. Rick Stubbert said.

The old building was a century-old converted farmhouse meant to be a temporary home for police. Previously, a building committee tasked with addressing the town’s aging buildings said the police station was the worst offender, as it raised multiple security concerns for officers. It lacked fire sprinklers, adequate space to interview victims and a secure place to book prisoners. The building also leaked and had mold problems.

Now police will have a secure place to book prisoners where they can’t escape, as well as adequate space to separate victims from offenders and interview people privately.

“It’s better in every single aspect,” Stubbert said. “Everything is well thought out.”

While the officers will start using the new station, they anticipate it will take a few weeks to get all of the department’s furniture, files and other items completely moved in.

The town voted to approve building a station 753-320 at a referendum on Nov. 3, 2015.

The town had proposed building a multi-agency building for the Fire and Police departments and the Town Office, but residents shut down the idea after seeing the multimillion-dollar price tags attached to the projects.

Mike Willey, the building committee chairman, said the committee still anticipate the project will come in under budget. The finishing touches need to be done, including installing signs; but other than that, construction is complete.

Audio and visual equipment also is installed in the public meeting room, Willey said, so that is available for use. The Town Council plans to use the room for its public meetings as well.

Willey said it’s been “delightfully boring” to see how smoothly everything is going with the project.

The police department said on its Facebook page Thursday that it would hold an open house in October at the new station.

Madeline St. Amour — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @madelinestamour

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