By: Michael Campbell | Twitter: @DinwiddieMonitr
Posted: June 6, 2020 | 1:30 p.m.
New office located inside Elite Contracting’s new HQ along U.S. 460
DINWIDDIE – For the first time in several years, Dinwiddie Sheriff’s Office has a physical presence in the northern end of Dinwiddie County as the department’s new office opened this week inside the Elite Contracting Group’s new corporate headquarters.
The precinct is housed on the first floor of the locally owned company’s two-story building just off U.S. Route 460 (Airport Street) between Cox Road and Commerce Way.
According to Dinwiddie Sheriff D.T. Adams, the facility will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Thanks to funding from the Dinwiddie Board of Supervisors, two new deputy positions were allocated to the department to help staff the new precinct.
Inside the office, deputies will have full work stations to file reports and access to restrooms and a lunch area to take a rest during their shifts. For residents, the new precinct will be able to provide fingerprinting services, along with access to deputies who can take reports and answer questions.
When asked, Adams said he was pleased to have a facility in North Dinwiddie that will benefit both deputies and residents alike.
“It is great to have a place on the north end where deputies can go rest and do their reports or use the restroom. It is also convenient for the citizens of Dinwiddie County to not have to drive all the way to [the Village of] Dinwiddie if they need to be fingerprinted or need a service from our department.”
Along with the services inside the office, outside, a safe exchange space is available next to the office. The space is recorded on camera 24 hours a day for those who need a well-lit and monitored location for child custody exchanges, face-to-face meetings following online purchases, or other needs.
This week’s opening represents the DSO’s return to North Dinwiddie following the demolition of the former Rohoic Elementary School and eventual sale of the property by the county to Elite Contracting Group. Prior to the sale, Adams said the department had tried to operate a precinct at the former school.
Deputy Charlie Walker works at his station inside the department’s new precinct in North Dinwiddie. Sheriff D.T. Adams and deputies both expressed excitement about being able to have a precinct so close to where much of the county’s call volume originates. (Michael Campbell)
“We had been seeking a northern end precinct for years and we tried when Rohoic Elementary School was there when we had a couple of trailers there but, we didn’t have manpower to staff it,” the sheriff detailed. “After the county sold the property, I looked for other places to put a northern end precinct.”
His search considered a number of locations, including Central State Hospital’s security office just off U.S. Route and Namozine Volunteer Fire Department on Hill Street before Scott Wray, Elite Contracting Group’s president and CEO, and the county began discussions about how they can help maintain the coverage in Northern Dinwiddie.
Last summer, county officials revealed Wray and his company intended to set aside space inside their new two-story headquarters off U.S. Route 460.
“Being able to do that in the northern end puts you where you need to be,” Dinwiddie County Administrator Kevin Massengill said during a July 2019 interview. “It helps us patrol more frequently in areas where we may have issues. Putting that asset in the community where we have the highest call volume is what we are able to accomplish now.”
At that time, county officials said the DSO was planned to be set up inside the headquarters by the latter part of last summer but delays would see the department’s new precinct open to the public earlier this week.
Deputy Nat Charles shows the new fingerprinting area that is available at the North Dinwiddie precinct for residents needing the service, bringing it closer to the county’s more populated area and helping to reduce travel for the community. (Michael Campbell)
The office’s central location along U.S. Route 1, 460, and Interstate 85 will help support the department’s effort to lower response times in an area where many of their calls originate.
“It is going to cut our response time down greatly,” Adams said. “That has been a growing concern from the citizens since I have been sheriff of Dinwiddie County and it also has been for the fire and EMS side as well. This is going to help our response times on the northern end a lot.”
As deputies settle in and prepare to serve residents, the sheriff encouraged the community to visit the new precinct while adhering to health guidelines in place due to COVID-19, including wearing a mask or face covering while inside public facilities. He praised both Wray and the Dinwiddie Board of Supervisors for supporting the department and its public safety efforts.
“I can’t thank Mr. Wray enough for allowing us to be there. I thank the Dinwiddie Board of Supervisors for providing us the manpower to run it,” Adams remarked. “Between Scott Wray and Dinwiddie County, it came together and it is going to be a great place and I hope as we look to the future, I will be able to man it 24 hours a day.”
“I have a growing commitment to the citizens of Dinwiddie County but, the north end is the busiest and most populated area and I feel this precinct will benefit the community. They won’t have to drive all the way to Dinwiddie if they need to get a fingerprint. If they have an issue, they can meet with a deputy right there instead of driving all the way down to Dinwiddie and it will keep my deputies on the north end where the majority of our calls happen,” the sheriff closed.
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