By Laura Hayes, Senior Community Reporter
SHREWSBURY – With a dig of a shovel in dirt, the town officially broke ground on the new Shrewsbury Police Station.
The station will be located behind the old station on the town’s Maple Street campus.
“On behalf of our administration, on behalf of Gov. [Charlie] Baker and our entire team, I say thank you,” said Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito. “As your native daughter, I want to tell you how proud I am of all of you.”
Speakers thanked Shrewsbury voters, who approved a $42 million debt exclusion last fall to fund the station. Among its features, the new station will include a new radio and town communications system.
The Shrewsbury Planning Board approved plans for the new station, which will be just over 31,000 square feet, earlier this summer.
“This building, conceptualized, designed and soon to be constructed will meet the needs of 21st century policing for at least the next 50 years,” said Patrick Pitney, who is the chair of the Police Station Building Committee.
Crews have been working since the end of July to clear the site for the new station.
Although the building will be state-of-the-art, Polito said it’s more than a building.
“Shrewsbury has had a very long tradition of supporting public safety,” Polito said.
She walked the audience through chapters in Shrewsbury police history, including the transition from a constable services to a police department, the first police chief in 1919 and the tragic death of Police Officer James Lonchiadis in 1975.
Chief Kevin Anderson said there would be two memorials at the new station. One will memorialize Lonchiadis while the other will be for those who lost their lives on 9/11. It will include a piece of steel from the World Trade Center.
Altogether, policing has changed since the original station was built in 1971, Anderson said.
“Today, how good of a police officer you are is defined on how well you serve the community,” he said. “The community is the foundation of this new building.”