New GSP post to open soon
by Shaka S. Lias
Feb 20, 2011 | 4245 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Brian Normandeau, Hogan Construction Group superintendent, left, talks with Clarence Brown, Bartow County commissioner, about construction progress on the new Georgia State Patrol on the Highway 20 Spur. 
SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
Brian Normandeau, Hogan Construction Group superintendent, left, talks with Clarence Brown, Bartow County commissioner, about construction progress on the new Georgia State Patrol on the Highway 20 Spur. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
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For nearly 40 years Georgia State Patrol Troop A has called 1300 Joe Frank Harris Parkway home, but it will have a new address when they relocate to a new building under construction on Highway 20 Spur.

Hogan Construction Group Superintendent Brian Normandeau, the general contractor building the new post, said crews are working hard daily and plan to begin painting next week.

Bartow County Commissioner Clarence Brown said he's excited about the new building, but will be even more excited when the troopers move in sometime in April.

"They really do need a new facility; the other one is really run down and it's not big enough," he said.

Cpl. Seth Thompson agrees.

"The post wasn't built for all the technology we have today," said Thompson, the assistant Post Commander.

There are 19 troopers on staff, about 20 radio operators, a captain and two lieutenants at the current building. Adding to space issues are inadequate wiring, structural issues and plumbing problems.

Thompson, who has been a state trooper since 1998, said the current post will remain the main post for all communications for Troop A, which covers all posts in Northwest Georgia. In November, all communications rooms were consolidated into one room for the entire troop. Previously each post had their own communications room.

The new building will house all communications for Northwest Georgia at the new facility. Posts will remain in Calhoun, Dalton, Canton, LaFayette, Cedartown and Rome, but only troopers and secretaries will work out of those locations.

In addition to a larger communications room, the new facility will include barracks, media room, laundry room, lockers, weight room, living area and a full kitchen. There also will be an evidence room and a larger lobby.

Brown said local GSP troop is the busiest in the state because of the size of the area it covers. "That's why it's important to build the new one."

Thompson said his is definitely not a 9-to-5 job, but it's an adventure and rewarding.

"People take jobs for different reasons," he said. "What we enjoy in this job is being able to help people and feel like we are making a difference."

Troopers look for more than just speeders, they also apprehend people who should not be on the streets.

"It's all for the protection of the law-abiding public," Thompson said, adding a number of criminals are apprehended through traffic enforcement. "We may stop somebody for a headlight violation and they turn out to be wanted for murder, theft or maybe a stolen vehicle."

Troopers also specialize in wreck investigations, traffic enforcement and in implementing the PIT maneuver when called upon for. Thompson said the new post is exactly what Troop A needs to be able to effectively do its job.

"We feel like the space we're going to have in this new post is going be plenty of space for what we have going on," he said.