By Nicole Davis
The city of Beech Grove broke ground on a new police station at 103 Main St., at the corner of Main Street and Emerson Avenue, on April 1.
“I’m very happy about it,” said Beech Grove Mayor Dennis Buckley. “We have set ourselves up financially to be able to do this. We have to focus on our police. That has to be our highest priority. We’re very happy about (the new station). We think it’s good for the next 25 years.”
The current station at 340 E. Churchman Ave. was built in 1973 for its 15 employees. Today, that station houses more than 45 employees, part and full time, as well at the Beech Grove City Court.
“The previous chiefs were all good stewards of the building, constantly moving offices, taking out walls, polishing and putting band-aids on issues to make the building last,” said Beech Grove Police Chief Michael Maurice at the groundbreaking. “In 2017 under Chief Mark Swartz we hired a company to do a study on the current condition of the station to determine if it could be rehabbed or if it was more feasible to build a new one. Before we even finished showing them our station they resoundingly said, ‘there is no hope for this place, we need a new station.’”
Buckley said that approximately four years ago, former longtime Beech Grove Mayor and Police Chief J. Wiley Warner started talking to him about a new police station.
“If you knew Warner, it was on and on and on,” Buckley said, laughing, at the groundbreaking. “He was adamant about the police. He so loved the police. So we started working on it. Our current administration, Chief Maurice, Deputy Chief Mercuri, they carried the torch.”
Wiley passed away July 2020. The new station will be named in honor of him. Wiley’s family attended the groundbreaking.
The new two-story, approximately 15,000-square-foot station will house all offices for the police with state-of-the-art interview rooms, the city court, a community room and more. Extra parking will be located across the street. Construction will officially begin in the spring and be completed within 15 months. The city anticipates investing approximately $6.4 million on the project. Meyer Najem Construction has been selected as the general contractor for the project.
“We want this to showcase the revisal on Main Street potentially attracting more redevelopment and investment in the city,” Maurice said.