Lots of progress on the future home of the Cape Girardeau Police Department. Officials and partners broke ground on the new police station, jail and court facility on Oct. 12, 2016. Construction is expected to be completed in early 2018.
The Police Department’s technical specialists, evidence processing, community meetings, administration and other functions will move to the new location, but it will not change the patrol presence. Patrol and traffic officers will continue patrolling their zones and responding from their vehicles in the neighborhoods and business districts.
“Most of our 56,000 annual calls for service are responded to by officers dispatched from blocks away, already working in the neighborhood,” said Police Chief Wes Blair.
1siteThe new building will have the space needed for the growing volume and complexity of police work. The existing facility on South Sprigg is approximately 19,000 square feet, including the modular office unit, but not including the storage buildings. The new facility will be approximately 35,500 square feet with a storage outbuilding of approximately 3,300 square feet. The facility will accommodate legislative changes requiring additional evidence retention and accessibility requirements.
The new facility will also address critical safety issues present at the current court and jail facilities. Unlike the current building with the jail on the second floor, the new building will be all one level, with a secure entrance for the jail. The new jail will have 20 beds with room for overflow as needed. City Hall, where the Court is currently located, does not have the proper security. The new facility is designed to properly separate court offices, prisoners, the public and employees. With a co-located court and jail, transporting the prisoners to and from City Hall throughout the week will no longer be necessary.
The new location at 2530 Maria Louise Lane on the edge of Arena Park has always been owned by the City. The Army Reserve leased the property since 1968. The building was recently demolished. Working with design-build team of Kiefner Brothers, Inc. and Chiodini Architects, the team determined that remodeling the existing building to current seismic and safety standards would not be cost effective.
When voters approved the Fire Sales Tax and Public Safety Trust Fund in November 2014, they approved a plan to pay for a new police station from a combination of sales, restaurant and casino taxes. The budget for the new building is $11 Million. Other Fire Sales Tax projects are already in-progress with new vehicles on the street for police and fire, a new Fire Station No. 4 under construction, and Fire Station No. 1 and 2 additions and renovations in the planning phase, and an annex at Fire Station 2 construction starting soon. The new police station is also the last project outlined in the 2000 Master Facilities Plan which identified the need for a Fire Station 3 and Emergency Operation Center (completed in 2007), Fire training facility (in-progress), Police Station (in progress), Public Works Department (2005), Aquatic Facility (2010), and several Golf Course renovations, repairs, replacement of shelters and restrooms in parks and the Golf Course (ongoing).