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Sheriff Babb to establish first-ever northside precinct

The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office has never operated a precinct outside its headquarters in Fayetteville. But that will change next month when a northside precinct will open at the Lee Center on Ga. Highway 314 north of Fayetteville.

Sheriff Barry Babb said the idea of establishing a post on the northside was something he advocated during his campaign for sheriff.

“I was told by people they wanted a precinct in the north part of the county. I met with a number of community groups in the north and they are supportive and they’re glad to see our presence,” said Babb. “This will give us a post in the unincorporated area on the north side of the county. We wanted a space that would give us good east-west and north-south routes.”

Right, above, sheriff’s photo shows exterior of new precinct.

The new precinct, located at Ga. Highway 314 and Bethea Road at the Lee Center in Suite 108, is expected to open in mid- to late-December. The 1,400 square-foot office will front the highway so residents can see it from the roadway, Babb said. The office space carries a price tag of $500 per month that will be paid out of the asset forfeiture fund. Babb projected that those funds will be sufficient to cover the expense.

Like the sheriff’s office off South Jeff Davis Drive near downtown Fayetteville, the new precinct location will serve as a home base for some deputies and an additional office for all deputies.

“Deputies circle around their home base because they have to return there often for various paperwork issues,” Babb said. “So having a precinct will give officers a home base in the area of enforcement. It puts us outside the heavy traffic in downtown Fayetteville and gives us a post in the field.”

Essentially minimalist in nature, the new office will give deputies a place to clock-in, have shift change, complete paperwork, eat a meal and ”get their marching orders and hit the street,” Babb said.

Babb noted that the new precinct is not a substitute for the sheriff’s office. Rather, it serves as a second location that is expected to provide a way for additional swing-shifts and it will be a site other deputies can access, said Babb.

“This is a work in progress so we can adjust to trends (that develop),” Babb said.

Below, workmen prepare the new northside precinct for the Fayette County Sheriff's Department.

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