MARIETTA — With a little help from taxpayers, Cobb police will soon get a boost to their investigative toolkit.
At Tuesday night’s Board of Commissioners meeting, commissioners unanimously approved the construction of a $1.3 million vehicle evidence facility at Cobb Police’s new headquarters in the LGE Community Credit Union building on Fairground Street.
The single-story structure will serve as a sort of forensic garage for the department, allowing it to store and examine vehicles involved in the commission of a crime.
2016 SPLOST funds will cover the project, notwithstanding a $148,000 general fund contribution. County spokesperson Ross Cavitt said the general fund money will be reimbursed if SPLOST revenues exceed their current projections.
“We’re going to build a structure here that will house those vehicles for storage. And we’ll also process—they can be processed there by crime scene people,” Cobb Police Chief Tim Cox said during a tour of the facility last month.
Major Dan Ferrell, head of the department’s Crimes Against Persons Unit, said the facility will be a valuable asset to the department.
“Our Crimes Against Persons Unit has an attached Crime Scene Unit that processes all major crime scenes for the detectives … and on many occasions there are vehicles involved that have evidentiary value for their cases,” Ferrell said. “This also includes vehicles involved in serious injury or fatality vehicle crashes.”
The new Fairground Street facility will be an extension of the department’s crime lab, which is moving into the former bank vault of the LGE building. Investigators will be able to collect samples from the vehicles on-site and process them immediately.
Currently, the unit works out of a two-door garage at its old headquarters on North Marietta Parkway. The new facility will double that working space.