State police moving from Luray to Edinburg

The Virginia State Police will be moving their area office from Luray to a three-acre site near Edinburg following the purchase Friday of the land and several buildings.

Ronald Rice, capital outlay program director for the state police, said Monday he expected the move to begin in about two months after phone connections have been installed and activated.

The state bought the land, an office building and two adjacent warehouses, from First Bank of Strasburg for $585,000, Rice said. The property at 18627 Old Valley Pike was formerly the home of Wells Roofing Co.

“The office building was in very good condition, and the layout of the office space fit our space requirements,” Rice said, adding that the warehouses, which will be used as garages for “special type vehicles” was “another big draw.”

“It gives us a lot more room than we have in Luray, that’s for sure,” Rice said.

State police have been searching for a new site that would allow them to relocate the area office closer to Interstate 81, where their traffic enforcement duties and emergency responses to accidents are concentrated.

Del. Todd Gilbert, R-Woodstock, said rank and file troopers approached him several years ago to talk about the possibility of moving from the Luray site. Gilbert said troopers told him it was taking them too long to reach I-81 from Luray.

“It might be a half hour or more to get to an accident scene when their headquarters should be closer to the interstate, and I think we’re very close to seeing that happen,” Gilbert said.

He said the troopers also wanted more space than what is available in the Luray office, which was designed in the 1950s.

“The troopers in Luray are essentially climbing all over each other to find space to fill out their reports and paperwork,” Gilbert said. “It’s totally inadequate for their needs.”

Gilbert said the General Assembly approved money for the new area office two sessions ago, although the site wasn’t settled upon until recently.

The state police regional office will remain in Culpeper.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com