WASHINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) – Saturday morning, the city of Washington cut the ribbon on its new police department.

“We are very fortunate that we have a city that supports public safety in the way it does by building this state-of-the-art facility,” said Stacey Drakeford, the city’s director of public safety.

It’s a place the Washington Police Department has been looking forward to having as its own for years. Their last station was flooded by Hurricane Florence, and they’ve been in a temporary building ever since.

“The last building was built in 1975, so we have outgrown that,” Drakeford said. “The infrastructure wasn’t there. We’re now in the 21st century of this law enforcement profession.”

“This dream finally becomes not only a center for the police department but also a nice facility for the community,” said Mayor Donald Sadler.

The new space gives more room for officers.

“Now we have some true interview rooms and we were able to expand our communication piece of the puzzle,” Drakeford said.

It’s also a place for the people of Washington.

“We were able to add a community room that organizations can utilize whenever they want to,” Drakeford added.

Saturday morning, community members and city leaders blessed the building.

“This place will be a beacon of light for all who enter in, even for those who may find themselves on the other side of the law will still find a beacon of hope, so God we bless this building,” said Pastor Joneice Carroll of Washington.

It’ll also keep the community safer.

“This building will continue to allow us to grow and do the things we need to do keep our city as safe as possible, but also being open to our public as well,” Drakeford said.

The building will also have a new DMV office. They hope to be set up and start using the facility by sometime next week.