NEWKIRK, Okla. (KFOR) – Both of the town’s police and fire department chiefs are still shaking themselves to make sure their new offices aren’t a dream.
Police Chief Kevin Main and Fire Chief Adam Longcrier have only just moved into their new Public Safety Center.
“I’m still looking around to make sure it’s real,” smiles Main.
Main and his officers have interview rooms now, evidence lockups, and desks for every cop, a huge difference from their old offices in one of the town’s oldest buildings.
“At one time it was a youth center,” he says.
Longcrier feels the same.
“It’s a tremendous upgrade,” he says.
His half of this new structure boasts new sleeping quarters, bigger offices, big kitchen, new appliances, a custom-made table, and radio dispatch, even a cozy faux fire his firefighters don’t ever have to worry about extinguishing.
“It’s changed our entire world and how we operate,” said Longcrier.
The cost of this center came out, after construction, to $4.5 million, a figure city leaders had tried to raise in years past with tax measures.
Current City Manager Ryan Smykil knew the city didn’t have a ‘rainy day’ fund, but they did have the equivalent of a ‘rich uncle.’
Over several generations, an entity called The Cline Family Trust pooled their long term investments to help fund civic projects including Newkirk’s library.
The group never sought publicity.
It’s last members weren’t even comfortable posing for a picture at the groundbreaking ceremony, but their gift bought the building and just about everything in it.
The old fire station, built in 1955, is across the street.
Chief Longcrier expected to retire there.
Instead, he’s showing off a vehicle bay that actually fits all their trucks and equipment.
Their new Safety Center is the envy of just about every small town in Okahoma.
Newkirk’s Fire and Police Departments are holding an open house on October 30, 2023, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
For more information, go to the City of Newkirk Facebook page.
Great State is sponsored by Oklahoma Proton Center