The Hall County Sheriff’s Office’s east precinct in Lula has been remodeled to give officers in the area a better workspace and to provide better response times, officers said.
“It had kind of fallen into disrepair and wasn’t really usable anymore,” Sheriff Gerald Couch said Thursday, April 1, following a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the precinct. “We wanted to have an increased presence here in East Hall, so we came in and redid everything.”
Couch said the precinct on Main Street in Lula was starting to see less and less use before he became sheriff in 2012.
“We had a lieutenant or sergeant stop in to do something and said, ‘It’s not in good shape. We need to do something with it.’ So that kind of got the ball rolling,” Sheriff’s Office spokesman Derreck Booth said.
The Main Street building is a total of 1,400 square feet that will be split between the Sheriff’s Office and the city of Lula.
As of last week, more officers who work in this zone are coming and going from the precinct.
The Lula precinct is one of the main four bases for the Sheriff’s Office, the others being the precincts in Clermont and Flowery Branch as well as the headquarters in Gainesville.
“When somebody leaves Gillsville or leaves Lula and has to go all the way to either Clermont or (the) headquarters building to take a break, obviously to return back if they did get a call in this area, it would create a longer response time,” 1st Lt. Brian Pearson said. “It’ll definitely improve response times having the building here.”
Pearson, Lula City Manager Dennis Bergin, city employees and Sheriff’s Office employees worked on the project that began in late 2020, including flooring, tiling, fresh paint and other repairs.
The Sheriff’s Office’s costs were $6,500, which were allocated from seized funds.
The precinct includes two offices and allows officers to upload body camera footage, complete reports and clock in and out.