Work begins on $29M police HQ in Brentwood

The police department will move into the new building in 2021.

The police department will move into the new building in 2021.

Image description
Work begins on $29M police HQ
Image description
Work begins on $29M police HQ
Image description
Work begins on $29M police HQ
Image description
Work begins on $29M police HQ
Williamson County leaders, first responders and community members gathered Sept. 11 to watch as officials with the city of Brentwood broke ground on the biggest capital project in city history.

Work is now underway on Brentwood’s new police headquarters, a $29 million project that will allow the city’s police department to have increased security, space for the community and enough room for the entire police force to be housed in one space. The police department is expected to relocate from offices on opposite ends of City Hall to a new 56,000-square-foot site on Heritage Way.

“We’ve just outgrown this building,” Police Chief Jeff Hughes said. “Along the way, we’ve become very dysfunctional from an efficiency standpoint because we’re spread out all over the building.”

The new facility will feature departmental offices, an emergency call center, training rooms, an indoor firearms range, public records and a community room.

The department is expected to move into the facility in early 2021, the 50th anniversary of the Brentwood Police Department.

The two-story building was designed by Nashville-based firm The Architect Workshop and will be constructed by The Parent Company, which is based in Brentwood.

While the city purchased the land in the late ’90s, City Manager Kirk Bednar said planning for the new headquarters began a few years ago after talks with city staff and officers about the future of the department. In addition to needing more space, Hughes said the demographics of the force have changed over the years, and with more women on the force than ever before, the department needed more locker room space than was available at City Hall.

“I think everybody recognized that from a space standpoint, we couldn’t continue on the way we were for the next 20 years,” Bednar said.

Increasing security, decreasing response times


In addition to giving police officers more room and resources, Hughes said the new facility will also increase security measures not available at City Hall.

“Because it was built as an office building, there were never any considerations for [City Hall] being a secure facility or a hardened facility,” Hughes said. “With what you see happening in society today, with people attacking the police, and even at police headquarters, we have really limited protection here, to our personnel and to our equipment and particularly our fleet.”

Hughes said the new facility will feature security measures, such as having a reception area with bulletproof windows, to help ensure the safety of the officers working there.

Additionally, having police business away from City Hall will help the city avoid bringing arrested individuals through City Hall areas. Bednar said while the city does not have a jail or holding cells, those arrested in Brentwood are currently brought through the building for processing.

“It’s a security issue for the rest of our city employees,” Bednar said. “Anybody [who is] arrested … they’re usually brought here for processing and certainly interviews. And so when that happens, they’re just paraded through general city offices to get from one side of the building to the other.”

The new building will feature a processing area located on a separate floor on the opposite end of the building from the records department and lobby, where residents and members of the public will be allowed in.

Hughes said the new headquarters’ location was also a consideration for the city, as having the department located on the west side of the city can sometimes slow response times, and the new location will have better access to major thoroughfares, such as I-65, Concord Road and Wilson Pike.

“At certain times of the day, Maryland Farms can be a parking lot, and even though we’ve got lights and sirens, we have to take into consideration response times,” he said. “It just makes sense that we are geographically located to better serve the citizens of Brentwood and every area of the city and not just the northern area of the city.”

Additional city, county resources


Because Brentwood is nearing build-out, Bednar said growth in other areas of Williamson County did not factor largely into planning for the new headquarters. However, the new facility will feature an fully-staffed ambulance bay to be used by Williamson County EMS.

The new bay will also allow the county to have better access to I-65.

Williamson County Public Safety Director Bill Jorgensen said the  county is continually looking at area statistics to find where new units should be placed.

“We are always looking for opportunities to work with our city partners to provide services together where we can,” Jorgensen said. “The city of Brentwood graciously brought this opportunity to us knowing that it would strengthen the public safety response system across Williamson County.”

The new facility will also allow Brentwood’s police force to have its own firearms range, meaning officers will no longer have to rely on the county’s outdoor range, which is already used by other officers in the area and can be difficult to access.

“We’re one of several organizations that schedule time on that range, [and] we usually get the last pick whatsoever, and we’ve got to get 67 officers through training every year,” Hughes said. “It’s become very problematic and will continue to get worse as time goes on, as we grow and as the county grows.”

Hughes said the new range will allow Brentwood officers to have more training time than on the county range and will allow officers to complete more than the basic requirements required for all police officers.

“Hopefully, that in turn, will help us be able to deliver better services to the community,” he said.

Community outreach


While much of the $29 million project will be funded through money saved in the city’s capital projects fund and a bond issuance approved by the city earlier this year, Hughes said $100,000 in funding came from Bill Akin, a longtime Brentwood resident who donated funds specifically for the headquarters.

“It’s really touching; it’s a little overwhelming that somebody would contribute that kind of funding to this type of project out of their own personal account,” Hughes said.

In addition to the support already shown by the community for the project, Hughes said the new headquarters will also feature a community room for the public to come visit and get to know local officers.

“We want the public to feel this is their building and continue building on that partnership with the citizens,” Hughes said. “The police and the community have to work together, and I think we have a very good relationship with our citizenry. I think we have the confidence and trust of our citizenry, and we want to continue to promote and build on those relationships in this new facility.”
By Wendy Sturges
A Houston native and graduate of St. Edward's University in Austin, Wendy Sturges has worked as a community journalist covering local government, health care, business and development since 2011. She has worked with Community Impact since 2015 as a reporter and editor and moved to Tennessee in 2019.


MOST RECENT

With a clinical background in internal, pulmonary and critical care medicine, Corry has been with BCM for 20 years. He now focuses primarily on inflammatory lung diseases, such as asthma and smoking-related chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. (Graphic by Ronald Winters/Community Impact Newspaper)
Q&A: Baylor College of Medicine's Dr. David Corry discusses immunity, vaccine production amid COVID-19 pandemic

Rapid development and distribution of a vaccine worldwide and successful achievement of herd immunity will be key players in determining the lifespan of the COVID-19 pandemic, said Dr. David Corry, a professor of Medicine in the Immunology, Allergy and Rheumatology Section at Baylor College of Medicine.

Here are the coronavirus data updates to know today in Tennessee. (Community Impact staff)
Tennessee coronavirus cases rise by over 1,900 in 24 hours

In Davidson County, there have been at least 12,935 reported cases. Williamson County has reported 1,670 cases.

Williamson County Schools released a reopening framework plan for students and families on July 9 before school begins in early August, with students given the option to receive on-campus or remote instruction. (Courtesy Pixabay)
Williamson County Schools’ 2020-21 plan plus four other Nashville stories

Here are five recent updates from Greater Nashville on plans for education in the fall, governmental moves toward increased public safety and more.

Williamson County Schools released a reopening framework plan for students and families on July 9 before school begins in early August, with students given the option to receive on-campus or remote instruction. (Courtesy Pixabay)
Williamson County Schools releases plans for optional return to on-campus learning in fall

The district will be in communication with the county health department to determine whether to adjust plans based on the number of active COVID-19 cases in the county.

(Courtesy Pixabay)
Columbia State Community College to offer hybrid of virtual, in-person instruction for fall semester

The college, which has a campus in Franklin, said all lecture courses will be live streamed via Zoom, allowing students and faculty to interact in real time.

The Tennessee State Capitol Commission voted July 9 to remove the Nathan Bedford Forrest bust from the state capitol. (Screenshot via www.tn.gov)
Commission votes to remove Nathan Bedford Forrest bust from Tennessee Capitol, but it will not be moved just yet

The final decision on moving the bust will be made by the Tennessee Historic Commission.

Tennessee coronavirus cases rise by over 1,600 in 24 hours

The daily totals also include 710 cumulative deaths, 3,088 cumulative hospitalizations and an estimated 33,609 recoveries to date.

Census worker
2020 census: Bureau prepares nonresponse follow-up field operations

For individuals who have not responded to the 2020 census, one of about 500,000 census takers will visit the their household between Aug. 11-Oct. 31.

Here are the coronavirus data updates to know today in Tennessee. (Community Impact staff)
Tennessee coronavirus cases rise by over 2,400 in 24 hours, marking the largest single-day increase in cases to date

The daily totals also include 685 cumulative deaths, 3,025 cumulative hospitalizations and an estimated 32,736 recoveries to date.

A new committee has been formed to discuss the possibility of changing the Rebel mascot of Franklin High School and is seeking feedback from the public. (Alex Hosey/Community Impact Newspaper)
New committee to explore changing Franklin High mascot

Franklin High School’s mascot was originally the Pioneers, but was changed to the Rebels in 1936.