The Vermont State Police officially raised the flag at its new $6.2 million barracks in Westminster Thursday.
The long-delayed 16,600-square-foot building represents the first time the police have consolidated two troops into a single facility.
Captain Rick Hopkins, southern Vermont troop commander, says the new Westminster Barracks brings personnel from Brattleboro and Rockingham together in a single facility.
"This is a really big deal. This is the first time we've consolidated two different facilities into one," he says. "We did this because the footprint we've established now is more in line with the rest of the barracks around the state. So if you think about Derby or St. [Johnsbury] or Williston, the number of towns, the number of square miles is a little more in tune now."
The stations in Rockingham and Brattleboro were both outdated and Hopkins says it was a challenge to support modern electronic and computer needs, as well as evidence storage.
The staff members have been moving over to the new building over the last few days, and Hopkins says dispatch will be in service at the new building next week.
He says since dispatch must operate 24/7, it's been a a little more of a challenge to bring the dispatch operators over from the Rockingham.
The Westminster project has been on the books for eight years, and was delayed due to property disputes and permitting challenges.