Sayre celebrates opening of new police building
The Sayre Borough Police Department, borough officials and community members celebrated the department's move to a new headquarters Friday.
The building was dedicated with a brief ceremony, ribbon cutting and acknowledgement of the building's namesake, current councilman and former mayor William Hickey. Current mayor Denny Thomas also read a proclamation Friday declaring June 1, 2012 as William Hickey Day in the borough.
Hickey's involvement with the police department has been instrumental, Thomas said, and he has had a hand in everything from hiring the majority of the department's current officers to pursuing a grant to place defibrillators in police cars.
"Bill Hickey is the Sayre Police Department," Thomas said. "I cannot think of a more appropriate name for this building."
In addition to his service as councilman and mayor, Hickey has also served as a Bradford County commissioner and business manager and acting superintendent of the Sayre Area School District. He also serves on the Healthcare Facilities Authority of Sayre, a position he has held for 35 years.
State Sen. Gene Yaw addressed Hickey at Friday's ceremony. Hickey is "to be congratulated for all the service you've provided to the community," he said. "What a recognition."
At 4,000 square feet, the new police building, located on South Lehigh Avenue adjacent to the municipal parking lot, will better meet the department's needs, officials said. The former police department space in the borough hall on West Packer Avenue was only about 300 square feet, Thomas said.
"We've been living in a band box, I think, for quite a while," he said.
Thomas said the larger building would help the department's 14 officers, which he called "the best small police force in the state of Pennsylvania," to do their jobs more easily.
The new building includes larger spaces for staff, a conference room, several computers and desks, a locker room for officers, increased parking for patrol cars and visitors, and three jail cells, including one handicap accessible cell.
Police chief Kevin Guinane said the building will help his department to "operate a lot smoother."
No taxpayer funds were used to construct the station, Thomas said. The $875,000 project's budget was financed through the sale of the formerly borough-owned Blue Swan Airport property.
The project architect was David Macharola of Stiffler-McGraw & Associates of Hollidaysburg, and contractors were G. Webster Inc. of Athens and Premier Construction Group of Dillsburg, according to information from the borough. The project was managed by borough manager Dave Jarrett and coordinated by public works foreman Blane Lathrop.
Amanda Renko can be reached at (570) 888-9652; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.