On Monday, an open house and dedication ceremony was held for the new Durant Law Enforcement Center located at 3104 Carl Albert Drive.
City officials said this ceremony is the culmination of a five-year process that began in 2007 with City Manager James Dunegan’s appointment of the Durant Vision and Planning Committee. This committee was tasked with making long-range plans for the police department over 5, 10 and 25 years.
One of the immediate needs was for a facility to replace the building the department had outgrown. With the support of the Durant City Council, Mayor and City Manager, officials broke ground in October of 2010.
The new building is approximately 17,000 square feet.
Dunegan spoke in depth of the vision committee that made the facility possible. He recognized those that made the new building a reality and said, “We’re very proud of this facility. We have a law enforcement agency that is very deserving. We’re very proud of what they do and we’re glad we can put together a facility that they can work in.”
Mayor Jerry Tomlinson added, “I want to thank all of you for being here. This is a special day in our community. This is a result of prayer, of vision and of dreams.”
He introduced the members of the Durant City Council and said, “Work goes on every day to help make our community better. God bless this city and the folks that live here.”
Police Chief Durward Cook said, “This project is very important to me and we’ve been at it for some time.”
The dedication of the building was commemorated with a cornerstone ceremony performed by Freemasons. Officers from the Grand Lodge of Oklahoma performed the centuries old ceremony. Grand Marshall Rick Allison explained the ceremony to the audience.
A time capsule was put under the cornerstone and contained items such as rosters of local Masonic Lodges, an American flag, a grand master’s pin and business cards of those present that wanted to participate.
At the end of the ceremony, those responsible for the new facility were asked to symbolically set the stone by spreading it with cement.
Tomlinson said, “What a wonderful and beautiful ceremony. On behalf of the city of Durant, we’re so pleased to have this facility.”
In closing, Dunegan added, “This has been a great day for the city of Durant and Durant Law Enforcement. We’re appreciative of what’s taken place here today.”
Those in attendance were treated to a tour of the state of the art facility and hot dogs cooked by First United.
The ceremony also kicked off the observance of National Police Week.