South Station represents permanent home, ‘sound investment’ for Police

For nearly 20 years, the Henrico County Police Division has based its southeastern units in leased space on Eastpark Court, near North Airport Drive and Interstate 64.

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But by early 2025, the Fair Oaks Station will give way to a permanent South Station, which also will include training facilities for the county’s emergency communications and division’s K-9 unit.

With construction equipment staged nearby, officials gathered Tuesday for a groundbreaking ceremony at the 11-acre site at 640 N. Airport Drive. Officials used gold-colored shovels to toss dirt as a row of cameras captured the moment.

“The police division has grown over the years with the expansion of patrol officers, specialized units and new technology to better serve our community members countywide,” Police Chief Eric English said. “While we are thankful to have called Eastpark Court homebase for many years, we are excited about this new opportunity for a permanent home for our South Station.”

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Board of Supervisors Vice Chairman Tyrone E. Nelson called the $15.2 million station “a sound investment” for the community, its police officers and its future.

“Our county is showing once again our unwavering commitment to public safety,” said Nelson, who represents the Varnia District. “The safety and security of our residents and of our businesses have always been and continue to be a hallmark to Henrico County.”

County Manager John Vithoulkas echoed the sentiment, saying the station sends a message of support to all who work in public safety.

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“A new South Station will show our county remains committed to you, with new equipment, new facilities, but we’re also committed to you as employees and as members of our family,” he said.

At 19,900 square feet, South Station will house units assigned to patrol, special operations and emergency response. It also will provide administrative offices, training and conference rooms, breakrooms, exercise and locker facilities and a garage bay. The facility will feature an emergency communications training center, which could serve as a backup 911 call center, as well as a 5,000-square-foot K-9 training facility, with a fenced, outdoor training area.

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“This will allow our canine handlers the opportunity to train their dogs in a secure police location without relying on facilities from surrounding jurisdictions,” English said, while also noting the project will feature a modern design and offer ample greenspace.

The Police Division operates from three stations located across Henrico. Fair Oaks Station serves areas east of Creighton Road. Central Station, at 7850 Villa Park Drive, and West Station, at 7721 E. Parham Road, focus on Henrico’s central and western areas, respectively.

Nelson noted that South Station is part of more than $177 million in recent capital projects in eastern Henrico. The list includes the new Highland Springs High School, renovated Oak Avenue Complex, improved Sandston Branch Library and Dorey Park, and the Newbridge Firehouse 23 and Taylor Farm Park, which are under construction.  

“Every bit of it is about enhancing the quality of life and ensuring a bright future for our residents, for our businesses and for our community,” Nelson said. “This is truly a great day for Varina and for the residents that I am honored to represent.”

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