A home for town heroes
Stafford County, Va.’s Sheriff’s Office, and Fire and Rescue Department operated in separate buildings for years. The sheriff’s staff worked in the county courthouse basement, and fire and rescue personnel squeezed into cramped offices in the Stafford Administration Center directly under the Health Department. Both departments grew steadily to keep pace with one of the fastest growing counties in the state, but office space remained limited.
With separate headquarters and communication systems, the public safety operations needed a makeover to consolidate and improve collaboration in emergencies. In early 2006, Stafford County contracted with Los Angeles-based Northrop Grumman to design and build a new public safety center that would accommodate first responder services and administrative needs for the next 20 years.
The new 120,000-square-foot building was constructed on a parcel of county property adjacent to the existing administrative buildings and was designed to accommodate plans for a county administration campus. It includes the county’s Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP), Emergency Operations Center, and the Sheriff’s Department and Fire and Rescue administrative offices. It has three, two-level wings joined at a core entry point. The electrical and environmental systems use uninterruptible power systems with generator backup and redundant environmental control systems to keep the center operating in emergencies. The $36.4 million project was one of the first initiatives to be procured under the Virginia Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act of 2002.
Technical teams from the prime contractor, the county’s Informational Technology Services and the Sheriff’s Office installed, integrated and tested the facility’s new computer-aided dispatch systems, enhanced 911 telephony, local area networks, IP video surveillance systems and network-based timing in August 2007. Construction was completed in December 2007, and staff moved into the building in early spring. The center was named for Stafford Deputy Sheriff Ford Tyson “Toby” Humphrey, who lost his life on Oct. 9, 1980, while in the line of duty.
Project: Public Safety Building
Jurisdiction: Stafford County, Va.
Agency: Sheriff’s Office, and Fire and Rescue Department
Contractor: Los Angeles-based Northrop Grumman
Date completed: January 2008
Cost: $36.4 million