MILTON — Unless something bad is happening, you don't often hear about the Milton Police Department.
Lost in the shuffle of city debates, new business openings, and news of bands on the Blackwater River, the department quietly goes about its job of keeping the community safe. But MPD Chief Tony Tindell said there are some good things happening in his department, and he wants the city to know about it.
Tindell said the current renovation to the police building is going smoothly, and the department's addition should be completed around July 31.
"Right now, I can say we have the slab poured and the building framed," Tindell said. "Our project director is getting quotes on air conditioning, electrical and roofing now."
Tindell said when the renovation is complete the new part of the building will serve a number of functions, including as a meeting room, back-up dispatch center during emergencies and a multi-purpose training room. Once the project is complete, the department will purchase a "use of force" simulator, Tindell said. The simulator is a video firearms training simulator which enables officers to train for the most difficult real-world situations – including ambushes, active shooters, and maintaining full situational awareness during extreme stress – for training purposes.
"This will be extremely useful for our officers," he said.
In addition to the renovations, Tindell said the department has hired three new officers during the past six months.
As far as crime, he said he was happy to report that the crime rate in the city was down from last year, despite an already low rate. But regardless of the low crime rate, Tindell said he wants to city residents to know they should always report any suspicious activity or suspected crime to his department.
"You are never wasting our time," He said.
Tindell said it is one of his officers primary responsibilities to respond to calls for service that they receive, and it is something he takes very seriously.
"We are here to serve," he said. I don't want people to be hesitant. I would rather you be safe than sorry."
Tindell said as the hurricane season begins he encourages residents to make necessary preparations and have a plan together. Tindell said MPD will be available for all emergencies and is dedicated to help when needed.