The Asheville Police Department’s recently opened Oakley Resource Center is the result of a series of partnerships and collaborations, all of which, says APD Chief William Hogan, were critical to the project’s success.
The 2,500 square-foot facility provides a satellite station for the APD’s Baker District, which serves north and east Asheville, and officially opened with an Oct. 27 ribbon cutting ceremony attended by residents of the Oakley community, N.C. Representative Patsy Keever, Buncombe County Commissioner Carol Peterson Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy, Council Member Jan Davis, and City of Asheville employees including a number of APD officers.
Throughout the presentation, Hogan and Bellamy praised the level of cooperation involved in building the new center, from its construction by A-B Tech students to a multi-departmental involvement by City of Asheville staff to the donation of materials by local suppliers.
“The collaboration with A-B Tech carpentry class speaks to a good partnership that is being advanced.” said Mayor Bellamy.
The pre-fab building was designed and constructed offsite by A-B Tech students to be an example of an energy efficient residential home before its new role as an APD station. A-B Tech President Dr. Hank Dunn and Vice President of Risk Management and Operations Max Queen were on hand for the ribbon cutting.
“When you’re a member of a community, your role is to say ‘How can I be involved? How can I help?’” Dunn said.
Alongside the work by the students, the effort involved multiple city departments, who contributed to modifying and enhancing the station, including the city of Asheville’s building safety, information technology, parks, recreation and cultural arts, public works and water resources departments.
“This could not have happened without all the collaboration of the city departments,” Hogan said. “And without the support of the Mayor and City Council, it would not have been possible.”
The opening of the new facility, which will be a workplace and base of operations for some 40 APD officers, shows the department’s dedication to having a visible presence in the community, Bellamy said. It also provides the opportunity for the officers to continue close relationships with the surrounding neighborhoods and provides a place for neighbors to go if they need police assistance.
“This is an example of our commitment from our Chief,” she said. “We’re really doing what we need to do to make sure our city is safe.”