CONNIE SWINNEY • STAFF WRITER
LLANO — A move closer to the heart of the city has translated into more space, upgraded technology, more crimefighting tools and a quicker response time for the Llano Police Department, officials say.
After almost a decade in an “old golf pro shop” two miles from downtown, the Llano Police Department has moved into an upgraded building at 213 W. Main St.
“We’re getting positive feedback from everybody about the convenience and how glad they are we’re back in town.The response is quicker,” Llano Police Chief Kevin Ratliff said. “It’s more space, a closer presence in town. The location is much better than where we were.”
The prior location, an old concrete building at 123 Robinson Park just off RR 152, lacked accommodations for upgrading amenities needed for modern-day investigations.
“All of our technology has been upgraded. We’re in the process of getting (fiber-optic connections) for our Internet service,” he said.
The space “approximately doubled” the size of the agency’s office, allowing the department to outfit the two-story building with a suspect/witness interview room.
“We had used the (Llano County) Sheriff’s Office before, but now we have our own interview room,” Ratliff said. “Nowadays, juries want to see videos. When we get a confession, they want to see it on video, not just with audio.”
The city of Llano purchased the building with a $240,000 seven-year tax-obligation note, which includes renovations such as re-wiring, lobby installation, new flooring and lighting.
The building is the former site of Hutto & Dalchau Insurance Agency, which moved to a new location at102 Market St. on the north side of the Texas 16 bridge.
“We’re currently moved in. We’ve moved in about 90 percent of our stuff. It went well,” Ratliff said. “It’s a win-win for everybody. It’s a big help for the community and for us all the way around.”