New Public Safety building to help police in high-call area

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) -Construction continues for the brand new public safety building in Conway. The multi-million dollar project will host the city's fire and police department. However, its not just giving them up-to-date facilities and more room for training. It is also bringing police officers closer to a crime-ridden area.

Police admit drugs and gang activity are prevalent on the 378 corridor in Conway, with multiple murders in the last year. Now, the Conway Police Department is locating closer to the violent neighborhood, for quicker response time and increased police presence.

"We're em ore centrally located to help with response time, and more importantly closer to the zone where we get the most calls on the 378 corridor," said Conway Police Chief Reggie Gosnell.

Multiple deadly shootings happened all in the same section of town just months apart from each other. It pushed the US Attorney's Office and Conway police to team up for a joint effort to fight crime in Conway.

Despite weather delays it should open by fall 2014 and will host the Conway police and fire departments. In addition to being closer to 378, the police chief says being closer to Highway 501 will help crews cross the city quicker.

"We had out grown our department. And this gives us years to grow as the city grows and so does our department," Gosnell said.

As for the current police department, plans are in the works to demolish the decades-old building, to level lit and make a public parking lot with possibly a pocket park for residents.

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