The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said the current Troop D Headquarters building in McAlester will close.

“That is scheduled to happen no later than the end of this year,” Oklahoma Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Sarah Stewart said. “Troopers will continue to operate out of McAlester but from the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority Building.”

The OTA Building is located just to the southeast of the toll booth where U.S. 69 and the Indian Nation Turnpike meet south of McAlester.

Stewart said despite the changes, the number of troopers in the area will not be reduced, but communications personnel will have to drive to Durant for their jobs.

“Troop D will technically be operating out of their headquarters in McAlester for at least another couple of months until the conversion of Troop D dispatch to Troop E is done,” Stewart said. “That is scheduled to happen no later than the end of this year.”

The move will ultimately save the state money “because we will stop pouring money into the maintenance of the Troop D headquarters building” that was built in the early 1960s, said Stewart.

According to Stewart, by the end of the year, communications personnel from across OHP will be consolidated into five regional communication centers.

Two regions, the Central Communications Center in Oklahoma City and the Northeast Communications Center in Tulsa are operational, Stewart said.

The other three centers, the Southwest Region Communications Center in Lawton, the Southeast Region Communications Center in Durant, and the Northwest Region Communications Center in Enid will all be operational by the end of the year.

Stewart said the old Troop D building, which is at 1501 S. George Nigh Expressway, will be kept by OHP for storage and the agency will continue to maintain the grounds.

Additional questions regarding the decision to consolidate communications into regional centers were not answered by OHP by press time Tuesday.

Contact Derrick James at djames@mcalesternews.com

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