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Grand opening announced for Lorton’s new police station and animal shelter

The Fairfax County Animal Shelter’s Lorton campus and the Lorton District Police Station share a site (courtesy Fairfax County)

(Updated at 1:05 p.m.) Fairfax County is ready to unveil its new, combined police station and animal shelter in Lorton.

The Fairfax County Animal Shelter’s Lorton campus and the Lorton District Police Station will get a grand opening celebration on Saturday, Oct. 28. The event will start with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m., followed by an open house with games, refreshments, tours and more from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The animal shelter announced on Wednesday (Oct. 11) that its Lorton campus will open for dog, cat and small animal adoptions on Thursday, Oct. 26, but all drop-offs should still be made at the Michael Frey Animal Shelter in Fairfax (4500 West Ox Road) through Oct. 31.

Located at 8875 Lorton Road, the 23,000-square-foot shelter features 44 dog kennels, 42 cat “condos,” two “catios,” a veterinary clinic and a 20,000-square-foot outdoor space for the animals.

The additional space will help relieve capacity at the Fairfax shelter, which has been strained by a post-pandemic influx of pet surrenders, particularly dogs. The expansion will also enable the Fairfax County Animal Shelter (FCAS) to provide services and housing for animals from Fairfax City.

“This facility will allow us to substantially grow the geographic reach and impact of our work for the residents of Fairfax County,” FCAS Director Reasa Currier said. “Not only will we be able to create even more families through adoption, but the second shelter will provide a hub for essential services including behavior and training support, veterinary medical care, pet supplies and other critical services that help keep pets with their families.”

Currier added that she’s excited to welcome South County residents “who may have not have had access to our resources and services before,” given the distance to the Fairfax shelter.

The animal shelter is co-located with the Lorton District Police Station, a 34,000-square-foot facility at 8855 Lorton Road. The Fairfax County Police Department has said the new South County station will improve service by allowing smaller patrol areas and reducing response times.

The FCPD has appointed Capt. Richard Morvillo as the station’s first commander.

“He is charged with beginning to develop community relationships with existing advisory committees and HOAs,” the FCPD’s public affairs bureau told FFXnow. “He also will serve as a conduit for any concerns brought to his attention to be relayed to the station commanders responsible for a particular area of the County until Lorton is fully operational.”

When fully staffed, the station will have 70 sworn officers and 10 professional staff employees. There will be about 20 to 30 officers working each day across two shifts, according to the police department.

As the FCPD waits for incoming recruits to alleviate a staff shortage, the new station will follow a phased approach, with officers from the Sully, West Springfield and Franconia districts continuing to patrol the Lorton District area.

“During the initial stages of the opening, the police department plans to begin front desk operations during the day and will have an emergency phone available outside during hours the station may be closed for community members to contact the police,” the FCPD said. “Coverage of the southern county patrol areas will remain the same until we begin transferring officers into the new station.”

In addition to Morvillo, the first phase of staffing includes a police lieutenant and former Fairfax County NAACP president Shirley Ginwright as a new community outreach specialist, On the MoVe reported.

The joint Lorton facilities broke ground in May 2021 after years of planning. The project cost an estimated $30 million for design and construction, funded by a $151 million public safety bond referendum approved by voters in 2015.

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