Archive for Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Tonganoxie’s new police station coming together

Officers anticipate August move into new digs

June 28, 2016

Tonganoxie’s new police station is coming together and could be finished next month, with the department to move in sometime in August.

Chief Jeff Brandau said Monday the new campus will offer more capabilities — and substantially more space.

The station itself, formerly Cornerstone Family Worship at Sixth and Church streets, will span 6,000 square feet over two levels. An additional building has been built northwest of the repurposed station and is 1,300 square feet.

The current police station is in a 1,000-square-foot space in an office building at Fourth and Delaware streets across from City Hall.

“I think it’s going great,” Brandau said of the project. “It’s really coming along.”

The former sanctuary area has been transformed into several rooms, including conference room space, a shared office for two sergeants and an interview room. There also are separate offices for the chief and lieutenant and space for the police clerk. The clerk greets visitors near the north entrance. Though the clerk’s area will not be staffed around the clock, visitors can enter the foyer area at all hours. A phone is available to call Leavenworth County Dispatch after office hours. A water fountain and public bathrooms also are accessible through the main entrance. The main level now has 13 rooms total.

Downstairs, there is a receiving area where officers can bring in anyone who would need to be detained. A fence will be constructed around the property on the east side with an automated gate, so anyone officials were to bring into the station can be held in a contained area.

The downstairs has two interview rooms, along with bathrooms, a shower and a kitchen/dining area for officers, which is a secured area away from the processing area.

Much of the building will look new to visitors, though the bathrooms and kitchen are existing areas from when the building was a church.

As for the additional building, it will be home to various evidence that will be secured beyond a fenced-in area. The building also allows for some room for seized vehicles.

And the parking lot area will serve as an exchange zone for children going between parents with custody arrangements. It also is available for exchanges of goods being obtained through agreements on Craigslist or other online sites.

There will be surveillance cameras taking footage of the exchange area at all times.

And the front entrance will have some ornamental improvements, including signage, a flagpole and antique sconces.

“This is a huge improvement for us,” Brandau said. “It provides a professional atmosphere for the citizens and the employees.”

If the schedule continues on its course ahead of the projected timeline, Brandau said he expected the department to make its move to the new space possibly during the second week of August.

The station is part of a $608,000 project The Osborne Company is doing in repurposing the former church into a police station and the former post office downtown into a new City Hall, with the majority of costs coming from police station renovations.

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