The first dig was symbolic at the groundbreaking event for construction on Englewood's new police station, but the gratitude was palpable.
“It's exciting because it's kind of a new era for us,” said Chad Read, spokesman for Englewood police, at the Dec. 12 event at the current station. “Because this building is so dated. It'll be nice to come to work in a building with new technology.”
The current Englewood Police Department headquarters at 3615 S. Elati St. was built in 1972, Read said, and it holds about 19,000 square feet of usable space. The new station, which will be built at the same location, will more than double that amount, offering 50,000 usable square feet.
“To the community, I just want to say thank you,” said Police Chief John Collins, referencing the $27 million bond voters passed in 2016 to fund the project. “Because without your help, we'd still be in this (building).”
The new facility is expected to serve as the headquarters for the next 50 years, city and construction officials at the event said. It'll include a multi-purpose training room that can also function as an emergency operations center; a modern infrastructure to support data, voice and other communications applications; security systems that will improve safety for visitors, police staff and arrested individuals; and better cellular service, according to a fact sheet from DLR Group, one of the partners in the project.
The new booking and holding area will be safer for officers and those arrested, and the evidence-storage features — including a drive-through evidence drop-off area — will enable better prosecution of crimes, according to DLR Group.
A public plaza between the headquarters and the street will be able to facilitate community events, and the building will incorporate many “21st century” practices for reducing energy consumption, according to the fact sheet.
Construction will officially start around the second week of January, said Alan Antolak, project manager with Adolfson and Peterson, a partner in the project. The new building is expected to be complete around the first quarter of 2019, the Englewood city website said.
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