First Responder Campus debuts in Ocala
The ribbon is cut during the ribbon cutting at the MLK First Responder Campus in Ocala, Florida on Thursday November 19, 2020 in Ocala, Florida. The campus is the new home of the Ocala Fire Rescue Station 1, a center and West Ocala Ocala Police substation. The fire station moved from its long time home at Tuscawilla Park. [Alan Youngblood/Special to the Ocala Gazette]
Ocala Fire Rescue and the Ocala Police Department (OPD) hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony for the MLK First Responder Campus on Thursday.The campus, at 505 N.W. MLK Jr. Ave., broke ground in December of 2019. Made possible through the one percent Public Safety and Transportation Infrastructure Sales Tax, the campus is home to Ocala Fire Rescue administration and Station 1, an Ocala Police Department substation, a basketball court, a community room, and the Ocala Fire Museum.
Remarks were provided by Ocala Fire Chief Shane Alexander, Chaplain Joe LaCognata, City Council President Jay Musleh, City of Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn, Ocala Police Major Lou Biondi, CullisonWright President Barry Mansfield, Senator Dennis Baxley, Pastor James Pullings, and Chamber & Economic Partnership President and CEO Kevin Sheilley.
“This is not a typical government building,” Chief Alexander said. “This campus is a catalytic project meant to serve as common grounds where residents and public safety personnel can interact freely, safely, and in a familiar manner.”