GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The Pitt County Sheriff’s Office will soon have a new home. Sheriff Paula Dance and county leaders broke ground Monday on a new facility on New Hope Drive in Greenville.

“You often hear law enforcement officers referring to each other as family and that is true,” said Dance. “That is my family that you see standing around this tent. And what does a family need? A home.”

That new home will be a $17 million project which will cover 33,000 square feet. Currently, the sheriff’s office is spread out throughout the county, but with this new facility, they’ll all be under one roof.

“For many years, even the sheriffs before me, we always wanted a place to call our own,” Dance said. “Sometimes I don’t get to see some of these guys for weeks at a time because we are so spread out, but now our officers can pop their heads in, see the sheriff and make it easier to disseminate and pass along information.”

The facility is one of the biggest county expenses in recent years.

“She has said time and time again that she would be able to enhance the delivery of law enforcement services if she can have her core staff under one roof,” said Janis Gallagher, Pitt County manager. “My job is to find a way to make that happen and with the help of the board of commissioners and their financial commitment, we were able to do it.”

The new facility will include an in-house gym, meeting rooms and areas to potentially be used for in-service training. With the new space, Dance said it’ll help all in Pitt County.

“If the county in which you work for and reside, invests in their law enforcement and they see that investment that would encourage people to want to come and be a part of what Pitt county is doing,” Dance said. “This is more than an investment in a building, it’s an investment in the community.”

Officials say groundwork will start in the next few weeks and construction will start after that. The Sheriff’s Office hopes to be in the building by the summer of 2024.