LOCATION: 545 NW 8th Ave.
HOW LONG IN CURRENT LOCATION: Gainesville Police Department moved into its newly built headquarters in May. For the previous four years, it was scattered across Gainesville sharing space at various city government buildings. “We’re very pleased to be home here,” said Officer Nicole Lardner.
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: The department has about 300 sworn officers on staff and about 100 civilian support staff members.
The new headquarters complex includes a separate gym and combat-training room. “We do a lot of ground fighting in here,” Lardner said of the blue-matted training room. “Obviously for our job, we need to be in shape.”
A GPD officer crafted a toybox to hold stuffed animal donations at the doorway of the shift briefing room. Before officers leave on patrol, they can grab a few toys to take with them and give to distressed children they encounter along their beat. Lardner said the gesture can “help bring [children] a little bit of peace, let them know we’re not the big, scary people we look like in the moment.”