Felix Pozo, left, James Overton, right, and Officer Tim Burell, center, load evidence as the Sandy Springs police move to a new headquarters.

Sandy Springs police planned to add a touch of ritual to their move to a new home.

On Friday, June 24, officers ceremonially lowered the flag that had flown over their headquarters in an office building on Barfield Road, Police Chief Terry Sult said. On Monday, June 27, officers raised the flag – and added a new Sandy Springs departmental flag – at the department’s new headquarters in a pair of office buildings on Roswell Road.

The flag from the old building was to be replaced quickly with a new one. The old flag, Sult said, was destined for the department’s museum.

So police officials did make some room for sentiment as they wrapped up their 2 ½-day move. But mostly, Sult and other officers said, the department’s relocation was a matter of logistics. And logistics are something police typically pride themselves on knowing something about, Sult said.

And despite the scores of boxes filled with stuff, the dozens of movers and the moving trucks required, the department’s moving days seemed to come off with a minimum of fuss, Sult and other police officers said.

“There’s been a few bumps and bruises, but we haven’t had any fights. Nobody had to call the police,” Sult joked as he prepared a celebratory barbecue for the officers who had spent days packing up offices, evidence and paperwork and hauling stuff across town.

“It has just gone extremely well.”

Larry Walton, top, and Rashad Wilson slide full containers down the stairs during the police department’s move on June 24.

Other officers seemed to agree. “Everything’s well, everything’s going extremely well,” said Major David Bertrand, who coordinated the move.

Moving a police department isn’t quite the same as moving just any kind of office. The police have plenty of computers, desks and office chairs to relocate, but they have to move guns and ammunition, too. “No problems at all,” Officer Brent Young, one of the officers involved in moving the department’s armory, said as he and more than 50 others gathered about mid-day June 25 to sample the chief’s barbecue just a couple of hours before the last moving van was due to unload.

To move evidence – and to protect it so it could be used in court in future cases – officers stayed with the boxes of evidence to make sure they weren’t tampered with, Bertrand said.

Other items required less secure handling. Much of the material was moved by professional movers, Bertrand said, but volunteers chipped in, too. “They have been here every single day,” Sult said.

Why? “They needed help,” said volunteer Joan Pressman. “With what they do for us, at least we can do something for them.”

Sargeant Dan Nable, left, and Officer Clark “Porkchop” Evans raise the police flag at the new facility.

And what did the volunteers do? “Whatever needed to be done,” Pressman said.

“I packed up the chief’s office,” volunteer Bunny Mitchell said.

“And I unpacked it,” Pressman chimed in, grinning.

The new offices seemed to appeal to several officers on hand for the move. “It’s new inside and I like it,” said Sgt. Paul Pietruszka. “I think it’s more organized.”

Officer Clark Evans said some offices in the old headquarters had problems with air conditioning systems, so he thought the new facility was “quite an improvement from where we came from.”

And it has a new flag, too.

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.