NEENAH, Wis. (WFRV) – Neenah Police Chief Aaron Olson joined Local 5 on Thursday morning to discuss an array of topics including the Neenah Police Department’s building expansion and the new officer that will be joining their team.

According to Chief Olson, the $5.5 million dollar building expansion will provide the space for a new gun range, training room, and a larger garage to be built.

Excited about the expansion, Chief Olson says this step is very much needed as their building was built in 1993 and the department has ‘vastly outgrown it’.

“It was very much needed, our building was built in 1993 and we have vastly outgrown it. We actually have one person who operates out of the mechanical room in his office because we’ve just outgrown,” shared Chief Olson.

In addition to making more room for officers to comfortably work, this new space will also benefit the public by providing better and easier access to training for officers.

The expansion project is set to start in Fall 2022 and is expected to be completed by May of 2023.

And the department won’t just be getting some new spaces, but it will also be getting a new team member. Chief Olson says the new officer will be a traffic officer dedicated to making traffic stops and enforcing traffic education.

Cheif Olson stresses that this new position is very important because there is a decline in traffic officers and an increase in traffic-related calls.

“We actually have fewer officers today than we did thirty years ago and our officers take about ten times more calls than they did thirty years ago,” explained Chief Olson.

Chief Olson notes that with the addition of this new team member and also getting the word out that there will be more vigilance on roads, he is hopeful speeding and traffic violations will decrease.