ELOY — Eloy Police Chief Chris Vasquez referenced a fairy tale for emphasis during his speech at the ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony for the newly renovated public safety building on Friday morning.
While mentioning those involved with the design and construction of the building, Vasquez stated, “You kissed a nasty frog and turned it into a beautiful prince.”
The first phase of the renovation began early in 2020 with the portion that was formerly home to the City Council Chambers and the Finance Department.
Once that phase was completed, the department moved over from its small little building on the corner of Main and Seventh streets and that along with the former City Hall building were demolished.
“After moving into phase one of this project, I was asked many times how I was liking the new police headquarters,” Vasquez said. “The only way I could respond was, I now know how the Beverly Hillbillies felt moving into their mansion.”
Vasquez became the Eloy police chief in 2017 and quickly learned that he had inherited a department of men and women who were full of pride and very committed to serving the community.
“This new police headquarters is a symbol of that pride and commitment to service,” he said. “This is not to say that many of them will not miss something about the old building. Some of our employees have served this community for more than 20 years and the old building was like a second home, full of memories, first days, promotions and retirements.”
According to Mayor Micah Powell, the new building will achieve several objectives for the city of Eloy, the most important one having a modern and efficient facility serving all the department staff, not just the officers.
City Manager Harvey Krauss added that working in law enforcement is difficult and it’s become more difficult in today’s chaotic environment.
“One of the best things we can do as a city is to provide the very best facilities, training and leadership possible so we can continue to attract and retain officers who know when to be a warrior and when to be a guardian,” Krauss said. “In Eloy there is a strong, public trust and respect for law enforcement thanks to the leadership of Chief Vasquez and a supportive mayor and council.”
The project was led by CORE Construction and Architekton; the same two companies also built and designed the new City Hall, which is located across the street from the Police Department on the other side of Main Street Park.
While construction began in 2020, the beginnings of the project go back to 2018 when Architekton toured the Police Department and tried to figure out what they were going to do.
The building is over 15,000 square feet and includes a training area, communications center, large evidence room and a fitness center.
The space of the new police headquarters not only includes the building on Main Street but also the closure of B Street behind the building and the former Eloy Housing Authority building.
“I am confident that you will continue to serve Eloy with humility, pride and distinction from this beautiful building,” Krauss said as he addressed Vasquez and the Eloy officers. “Welcome home.”