The saying goes everything is bigger in Texas and the City of Kyle proved it with the opening of it's new, 64,000 sq. ft. Public Safety Center located at Kohlers Crossing.
On Thursday the two-story facility was opened following its approval of Proposition A in November during the 2020 elections.
“Kyle Police Department began formal operations in April 1981. As our population began to grow, the need for the future of our patrol officers was desperate for a more permanent space,” said Mayor Pro Tem Michael Tobias. “With more than 64,000 square feet, two stories in height, a large amount of parking space for this new facility, it will have a huge impact for our growing community.”
Tobias said It will provide better access for the public; increase response times and is centrally located.
“It’s a modern new design with upgraded amenities,” said Tobias. “This latest center will provide much-needed administrative offices, a new modern training center, and briefing rooms. Officers will also have locker rooms in the fitness workout areas, to be in a safe environment. This building will also bring us space to house future and much needed social services for our citizens.”
During the grand opening event, Tobias reflected on the state of the country at the time the bond was passed.
“In 2018-19 serious conversations about a project for our police department was placed on an agenda item,” Tobias said. “A task force was formed. Then in March 2020 we endured the worst health pandemic of our time, COVID-19. Our local economy and public health were looking very uncertain. Facemasks were introduced, long lines at the grocery stores, local hospitals were being overwhelmed. Schools and businesses were unfortunately closing. Our city, along with many others, we're on the edge of a possible economic recession.”
Tobias said a short time later, the tragic incident of George Floyd happened.
“Social and civil unrest began to take place, protests against the national policing, including law enforcement practices, were seen daily,” Tobias said. News outlets and media were broadcasting more and more of these demonstrations. Political agendas were coming forth in terms like defund the police were echoed throughout the country on megaphones. My friends, this was a very difficult time, a frightening time. It was a difficult time for me as well as an officer but I'm proud to say with the determination and leadership of the mayor and city council members back then, and now, we stood together.”
Tobias said they knew there would be obstacles ahead, as well as some risks.
“We knew there would be some negative community backlash. However, we also knew and understood the importance of protecting our city,” he said. “We understood the needs of our police department. We understand they needed a facility to grow under one roof to provide services for our growing community.”
“Thank you so much for standing strong and supporting your law enforcement by giving them a permanent home. You made this happen.”
Mayor of the City of Kyle Travis Mitchell said to accomplish a project of this size requires strategic planning, determination, perseverance, compromise, community involvement, the cultivation of a collective vision, and above all, a deeply held belief that what you were doing is right and at the absolute best interest of the community.
“I'm proud to say that today, at the end of this journey, the men and women who have worked so hard on this Public Safety Center can now at long last breathe a sigh of relief,” Mitchell said. “The Public Safety Center is here, and it is ready to begin serving our community's needs for generations to come.”
Mitchell thanked the men and women of the Kyle police department, especially those who have served the longest.
“Thank you for setting a gold standard for community policing, and for cultivating community support year in and year out,” Mitchell said. “As the mayor pro-tem recalled in 2020. There were turbulent times before us. Amid nationwide calls to defund the police, the Kyle City Council unanimously carried forward Proposition A to the voters asking them for permission to construct this state-of-the art facility. In the end it was not the city council that carried the day. It was you.”
Kyle Police Chief Jeffery Barnett praised his department and the citizens of Kyle for showing leadership during tumultuous times.
“You showed them how to do it and you showed them how to do it right,” Barnett said. “Your support to us, and your support for this facility, and all that it will bring to our men and women - all that it will bring in service to our community is outstanding. There is no better. So, I applaud all of you that helped bring this day to fruition.”