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New Gadsden Co. public safety complex designed to withstand 160-mph winds

The current building, which holds both Gadsden County Sheriff's Office and Emergency Management, is over 70 years old.
Posted at 6:31 PM, Oct 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-24 18:31:07-04
  • Gadsden County got $10 million of state money through the Florida Division of Emergency Management to build a new public safety complex.
  • The current building which holds both Gadsden County Sheriff's Office and Emergency Management is over 70 years old.
  • See what the new public safety complex will look like in the video above.


Right now I'm standing at the Gadsden County Sheriff's office building that has been standing for over 70 years. Now, I'm where this land is going to turn into a new state-of-the-art public safety complex where it will house both the sheriff's office and Gadsden County Emergency Management.

"We were talking about the old facility, and he said it was very old and run down and he couldn't do his job like he wanted to"

Bill Rutherford is president of Clemmons Rutherford Associates.

He is working with Gadsden County in their new Public Safety Complex.

"The ultimate goal was to receive funding for the new facility."

Gadsden County got $10 million of state money through the Florida Division of Emergency Management.

It has taken Gadsden County Sheriff Morris Young and other county and state leaders 10 years to secure the money to make a new and safe complex for all emergency and disaster planning, recovery and response activities.

"We're able to have a facility where we can now feel free to do our jobs and keep the community safe."

I found out Gadsden County is one of eight small, rural Florida counties not recognized by the state as having an Emergency Operations Center facility that meets minimum hurricane safety criteria.

That criteria is based on current federal, state, and local laws and regulations.

"We have to prepare for the next storm, because there will be a next storm and that's what this complex is about."

Leaders tell me that in the current building, there is not enough space to accommodate meetings with all agencies needed during an emergency like a hurricane.

The new facility is expected to withstand 160 to 180 mph winds.

Those are category 5 hurricane winds! The new complex will also have improved police technology.

"When it comes to crime, we're going to now have a new real time crime center so we can continue to go out and keep Gadsden County safe."

A new building to be designed to give Sheriff Young and his team the resources they need to protect the community.

"It will be a very attractive building but the key is to build it so it is safe and sound, safe and sound to protect the county. That's what its for."

The complex construction has already begun with permitting and is expected to be completed in the next 2 years.