Groundbreaking ceremonies were held today for the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department’s $2.5 million West Chatham Precinct.
The 15,000-squarefoot building on a three-acre site on Ogeechee Road at Bradley Boulevard is named in honor of Chatham County Commissioner David M. Gellatly who also is a former chief of the Savannah Police Department. SPD and the Chatham County Police Department merged in 2006 to form SCMPD.
Gellatly served as police chief from 1980 through 2000 and since that time has been the District 6 representative on the Commission. Under the terms of the merger, all police buildings outside the Savannah city limits, such as this one, belong to the county and all inside belong to the city. The Special Local Option Sales Tax funds the project.
The precinct, known in SCMPD as the First Precinct, will be the second constructed in the county.
The first is the Islands or Fifth Precinct on Johnny Mercer Boulevard on Wilmington Island. The others currently are in the city housed in leased buildings on East Lathrop Avenue, Bull Street and in the Oglethorpe Mall. Sites have not yet been confirmed for those city precincts.
“We are proud to see this progress and thankful for our county commissioners who have supported this project and funded it,” said SCMPD Police Chief Willie Lovett. “This location will help us better serve the West Chatham community through its location and design.”
The Gellatly building will house the precinct commanded by Capt. Phillip Reilley and which covers the unincorporated areas of Chatham County south of Interstate 16, Godley Station/ Crossroads Business Center and the area around the Savannah International Airport as well as the industrial areas around the Georgia Ports and Savannah Foods.
That precinct currently is housed in the Chatham County Annex on Police Memorial Drive.