The Orlando Police Department has just finished installing a tall fence and series of gates around its headquarters on Orange Blossom Trail at 1250 W. South Street [GMap].
Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolon has since stated that the idea to erect a fence came directly from the series of peaceful protests that were conducted last summer, outside of the headquarters. Officers were instructed at the time to use temporary barriers and bike racks around the perimeter of the property to impede protesters from trespassing, and it became apparent at that time, according to the Chief, that a larger fence would be needed.
When the new $50 million 96,000 SF headquarters were completed in 2017, it was lauded for its open, accessible design features, which included public plazas, a 320-person public meeting room, and a prominent public entrance plaza. It also features a parking zone for people to meet and exchange goods that were purchased online in a safe, public, and monitored area, as well as a See Art Orlando sculpture.
When the headquarters were first opened to the public, then Orlando Police Chief John Mina said at the time, “I’ll be able to walk out my back door and talk to our residents, and we’re hoping they’ll do the same.”
The building was touted as an olive branch or outreach opportunity to the historic Parramore neighborhood and as a potential catalyst for future development in the area.
The new fence runs along South Street and Orange Blossom Trail is made with thick wire so it is still possible to see the building through it and the gates will remain open during public visiting hours.
The former Orlando Police headquarters were demolished to make way for the new Magic Sports and Entertainment District development.