According to a public statement released by the GSP’s public information office, the GSP has other options available the agency is currently exploring.
Troopers will continue to patrol Polk County and respond to traffic crashes and other calls for service in the same manner as they do currently, the statement said.
Officials said the GSP will turn the entire building over to Polk County has the end of October.
Commissioners gave the GSP a 60-day notice to vacate the facility effective Sept. 1, although they were willing to negotiate a new rental agreement before the vacating deadline.
The county was hopeful that the GSP would share office space with the Polk County Police Department (PCPD).
GSP officials said that was never a point they would deal on.
“Sharing space was not part of the original agreement for the current post and was never contemplated,” the statement reads
“GSP does not consider sharing space feasible.”
According to the GSP statement, patrol posts have traditionally been stand-alone facilities. The reasoning behind that is that sharing space with another law enforcement agency is not “conducive to the Department maintaining its standing as an independent, unbiased law enforcement agency.”
The GSP’s response states its agency has regulatory authority over some aspects of local law enforcement agencies, like emergency light permits and speed timing device permits.
It also conducts traffic crash investigations that sometimes involve other law enforcement agencies, the statement said.
These oversight tasks would be harder to perform independently if office space is shared.
The GSP statement said moving out will help the county and is the agency’s effort to “being the best neighbor we can be.”
“This should lower the renovation costs for the building and at the same time save taxpayer’s money while providing even more office space for Polk County Police,” the statement said.
Commissioners decided to use the building for additional PCPD space because more space was needed and the cost of renovating the building was more affordable than constructing a new one.
Chairman Cleve Hartley said in a recent called meeting that building a new facility would cost $1.5 million compared to $600,000 to reconfigure the GSP post building.
Such a move would free up money for investment in Economic Development and other needed infrastructure, he said.