Senior staff writer
One of the most significant days in Southport’s history unfolds Friday with the dedication of a memorial for Lt. Aaron Allan, who was killed in the line of duty last year, and the official opening of the city’s new Municipal Building.
On the first anniversary of Allan’s death, the memorial unveiling ceremony begins at 2 p.m. outside the new municipal building at 137 Worman St. with an open house from 3-6 p.m.
Allan, Southport’s 2015 Officer of the Year, was fatally shot July 27, 2017, after responding to an accident on Madison Avenue. He served as a reserve officer with the department for six years before becoming the first full-time paid officer in January 2017.
He is survived by his wife, Stacy, and sons TJ and Aaron Jr.
Contributions are being accepted to help fund the department’s training and equipment room; $100 per person, $250 per business. Each contributor’s name will be on the memorial wall.
The building is the new home of the police department, offices for the mayor, clerk-treasurer, Board of Works chair, Parks Department director and a meeting room. The police department goes from 300 square feet to more than 7,500 square feet. Chief Thomas Vaughn explained that the main entrance to the building also serves as a safe room where someone can run in, lock the doors and call 911.
“It took us two years to get to this point,” he said. “I’m really excited. We have enough space to do what we want to do, and it’s new. It’s probably the largest project Southport has ever done.”
Four offices are for police personnel. Added safety exists with an intake room for suspects and a will call room where they can be picked up by law enforcement authorities. The spacious training room is a major improvement because all trainings, except driving and live firearms, can be held on the premises. Previous training programs for Southport reserve police were held at Harrison College. The room also will be used for meetings. The 8,500 square-foot-building replaces the municipal building at 6901 Derbyshire Road, which houses Perry Senior Services and other nonprofit organizations.