Community Breaks Ground on New Police Department
November 4, 2022
The Community broke ground on a new, long-awaited building for the Gila River Police Department (GRPD) on Friday, Oct. 28.
The occasion drew representatives from the architecture firm Titan, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Gila River Courts staff, and Gila River Police officers and staff to help celebrate this milestone for the Community.
The new building site is south of the current GRPD building. It will provide several updated facility features to support the needs of GRPD officers and staff. Some upgrades included increased office space, adequate room for training, a gym, a Community Room, and a healing room.
“We’re so happy to be here today for what is going to be a truly state-of-the-art facility,” said Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis. “This will not only provide adequate space for our law enforcement officers and staff but will also include modern training and equipment needs, but most of all it will help to increase safety across the entire Community.”
The new GRPD building will be the first police department to utilize the innovative federal 105L leaseback program, developed by the Community, to fund the construction.
The Community’s 105L program recently streamlined the completion of Gila Crossing and Casa Blanca Community Schools.
“One of the things we want to do is ensure we give the police department a chance to be a part of the project development,” said District 6 Community Council Rep. Anthony Villareal Sr. “This is another milestone for our Community and I’m proud to be a part of this groundbreaking today.” Villareal Sr. also serves on the GRPD Construction Owner’s Team.
GRPD Acting Police Chief William Morago is looking forward to completing the new police department. He said he’s been working out of the current location since he started with GRPD.
GRPD shares the building with the Department of Rehabilitation and Supervision (DRS) staff. Both departments have shared the building for over 20 years.
“We’re all excited for the Community Room that will be part of the new building because it will provide a space for the Community,” said Morago. “It will be a place for healing, education, and information and open to the public because we want to be more involved with the Community in a positive way.”
In addition to the new building, Acting Police Chief Morago is also glad to see GRPD return the DRS building to the DRS. He noted that DRS also requires more space, and this move will allow for that.
“I’m so grateful to be here and see that a new police department will come for our police,” said Lt. Gov. Monica Antone. She recalled her time working with local law enforcement. She remembered the lack of space for inmates and amenities for police officers. “Those were trying times for our Community, but we had to make due, and we did.”