State patrol moves to new Monroe office

CONYERS -- After more than 20 years in Conyers, the Georgia State Patrol, Post 46, has moved to a new home in Walton County.

GSP officials formally opened the new post offices last week at 317 Ga. Highway 11 in Monroe. Troopers had worked out of the building for about two weeks.

GSP spokesman Gordy Wright said Monday space was the primary reason for the move.

"With the State Patrol now going to computer-based dispatch and computer records management they just needed more space, and Walton County stepped forward and offered to build the new post," Wright said.

Wright said troopers from Post 46 will continue to patrol the same three-county area of Rockdale, Newton and Walton counties.

The new GSP post is 14,200 square feet on a 22.45-acre tract, located just north of Social Circle. Walton County used $1.57 million from its special purpose local option sales tax program to pay for the facility.

Wright said the State Patrol depends on counties to build posts, with Jekyll Island as the lone state-funded GSP post. Rockdale County was notified and did not oppose the move.

The former GSP Post office, located on Iris Drive at Blacklawn Road, goes back to the county, Wright said.

Another consideration for the move was the post's traffic investigation resources. The Rockdale County Sheriff's Office has its own traffic investigators while the sheriff offices in Newton and Walton counties, along with several city police departments, call on the State Patrol to investigate serious traffic crashes.

"In a lot of areas in metropolitan law enforcement, especially in Atlanta, Savannah and Albany, have their own specialized units that can work on traffic crashes," he said. "Really, it's the outlying areas that depend on the patrol for the follow up work."

Along with Post 46, the GSP opened a new post in Grovetown, near Augusta. New GSP posts are expected to open soon in Brunswick and Gainesville, Wright said.

Post 46 includes eight troopers and four supervisors. There are no radio dispatchers based at the new post because communications were being centralized for the region at the Troop E headquarters in Grovetown, according to Post 46 Commander Sgt. Frank Pfirman.