OLNEY (KFDX/KJTL) — If you were to spend some time at the current Olney Police Department and Public Safety Building, you’d probably agree that it’s time for a much-needed upgrade.

“Currently, we have five patrol officers sharing a relatively small space with a detective that has an area that is not in a secure location for the types of cases that he’s working,” Olney Chief of Police Dan Birbeck said.

Chief Birbeck says the force has grown out of their current facility and thanks to some hard work and research by him and Detective Dustin Hudson, a major upgrade could be on the way.

“We actually came over here with tape measurers and black tape and started marking things out and getting a floor plan and drawing some sketches and building material lists from there,” Detective Hudson said.

Together, they realized a new facility didn’t have to mean a completely new building. Besides, why build from the ground up when you havbe a perfectly good building sitting abandoned?

“We have the vacant Ranger College building here, so we set our sights on that, and so we just started planning, and Detective Hudson here took that job on and started doing the research and got it all together,” Chief Birbeck said.

Hudson has spent the past month getting bids and costs for the project. Even submitting a proposal to the charitable branch of Lowe’s Home Improvement to donate building supplies and labor to help. While they wait to hear back from Lowe’s, the project already has the support of the city.

“It’s a long overdue upgrade for our local PD, and the building that they are currently in, this will certainly be an upgrade. It also would get us up to speed and help us with our accreditations, and it’s something that we need to do,” Olney Mayor Rue Rogers said.

All 2,400 square feet would certainly go to good use.

“This new space will give us the ability to give officers individual offices to work out of, interview rooms, and a property and evidence room that meets the standards required by the Texas Police Chiefs Association,” Chief Birbeck said.

“Having a nicer facility that’s laid out and operable and useful will be a huge change,” Detective Hudson said.

A huge change and a morale booster for not only the officers, but the entire community.

“Our police department has been one of our shining stars, and Chief Birbeck and his officers, top to bottom, have been first class, and his leadership, we’ve turned the corner,” Mayor Rogers said.

“All this is in the spirit of Olney. I think, in the same spirit, our community is gonna come together to support us, and get this thing done,” Chief Birbeck said.

The building is also connected to the Olney Civic Center. Chief Birbeck says they want to use all that space to provide an Emergency Management Center or Warming Areas in the event of an emergency. They are always looking for support. You can contact them at (940)-276-2013. or by email at dbirbeck@olneypdtx.com.