EAST LYME, Conn. (WTNH) — The new police department building in East Lyme comes with major improvements.

The old building was too small for the dispatch center, so it had to be housed in an old fire department, along with the fire marshal’s office. Now, both departments can work from the same building.

The fully renovated building on West Main Street is around 31,000 square feet. Half of it is being used by the police department so there is room for expansion upstairs for the other departments in the city with a separate entrance.

“It has been designed though with egress from the second floor so nobody has to come into the police area which is secure,” said East Lyme Police Chief Michael Finkelstein.

The additional space is a good thing. The old building was too small to house those being held in custody, so they had to be held at the Waterford Police Department, which made for more work and less efficiency.

“We’ve created rooms in places where rooms weren’t,” said East Lyme Police Lieutenant Dana Jezierski. “My office is in a kitchen.”

The condition of the new building is also much better. The old building leaked, so when it rained outside, it rained inside as well.

One of the lieutenants said she hopes the improved working conditions boost morale.

“No one wants to go to work and not sure what you’re going to find in your office,” Jezierski said. “I really think this new building will give us a better morale and a more professional atmosphere at the same time.”

There is even a cell designed for someone who may have a disability. The room is a bit wider and the sink and toilet are designed so people can stabilize themselves.

“Certainly everything is made as modern as possible to eliminate any risk to prisoners or officers,” Finkelstein said. “Everything is institutional grade.”

Dispatch should be up and running Wednesday night. The rest of the department will move in over the next few weeks.

Tune into News 8 at 5:30 to hear the full story.