Suwanee Unveils New Police Substation at I-85

Training and police presence are stressed as objectives of the $1.99 million facility.

Police visibility was stressed Monday as .

"There are no statistics on how many crimes we prevent," Suwanee Police Chief Mike Jones said during the ceremony, "but studies show that police presence does impact crime."

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And the new $1.99 million facility on Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road indeed is very visible at a point where many citizens -- and potential criminals -- enter the city.

However, some key points of the new facility are not visible from outside -- the firing range and a classroom.

"We can always improve," Jones said. "The purpose (of the new building) is training."

And Suwanee Police can take a big step forward in that area with the new firing range. This facet offers nighttime training. Before, Suwanee officers had to travel to Lawrenceville or Braselton for firing training, and had to train for night shooting at outdoor facilities.

Now Suwanee officers can do nighttime training indoors. A computer at the range stand allows the officer to control the lighting. Another officer inside a separate, sound-protected booth controls the distance of the range target.

Suwanee officers expect to do about 10,000 rounds a year of training at the facility.

"Now we can be independent to a degree," Jones said.

Mayor Jimmy Burnette noted Monday that former Mayor Richard Trice first raised the idea of a police substation in the Gateway area 14 years ago.

And the idea actually takes shape at a time when Suwanee's population has grown rapidly.

"Suwanee looks at opportunities in a different way than other municipalities," architect Jerry Spangler said.

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