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Sam Penrod ReportingToday was moving day for both the Utah Highway Patrol and Driver's license division in Utah County. Both agencies moved into a new building that state officials say will improve service for Utah County residents and Highway Patrol troopers.
The Utah Highway Patrol and Driver's License Division have been neighbors in Orem for nearly 30 years, just east of I-15 off of 8th North in Orem. Today they moved in together in a brand new building not far away from the old one.
Highway Patrol troopers finished packing up office furniture today at their old location, which has been the base for troopers assigned in Utah County. Nearby work crews were taking down the sign at the Driver's License Division and giving directions to people who were lost. As the population in Utah County has tripled in recent decades, both departments have outgrown their offices.
Trooper Kevin Elmer: “It's quite an upgrade from what we had before. The technology is better, more complete, each of the individual officers will have a nicer facility."
The new highway patrol office has cubicles for each trooper. And instead of sharing one office, the four supervising sergeants now have their own office. While troopers still spend 75 percent of their time out on the road, the home office is in a strategic location.
Lt. Ken Peay, Utah Highway Patrol: "We can go north or south being in the center of the county. We can hit the state roads we have to cover from a central base."
On the other side of the building is the Driver's license division. The new building is considerably larger and has increased space for drivers taking written tests. The driver's license building also has more work stations plus a number waiting system, which will allow customers to sit down and wait for their turn instead of waiting in line.
Bart Blackstock, Deputy Director, Driver License Division: "Much calmer atmosphere, people aren't crammed in. I think it’s going to be better for employees and the public who need to come visit us."
The new office is still just off of 8th North in Orem; however it is located just west of the freeway. And people seem to be finding it; the driver's license office has been busy all day long.