The Moscow Police Department, crammed into a facility that originally operated as a dairy almost a century ago, is moving to a new headquarters on the south side of the city.
Residents will no longer have to drive around looking for parking spaces, suspects will not be trapped in a long, busy hallway for questioning, and policewomen can don their uniforms in a regular locker room, not a fitted closet.
âWe couldn’t be more ready to make this decision,â said Moscow Police Chief James Fry.
Staff will begin operating at the new 15,300-square-foot, two-story headquarters off the coast of the United States on Monday, he said. The location of the facility and the way it is designed will allow the force to be more transparent and responsive.
The visitor-friendly lobby will allow for more interaction between police and the public, Fry explained. Additionally, a spacious police training room will be used to accommodate nearly 50 participants during Citizen Academy sessions, where residents will learn about the inner workings of the department – double the number that could fit in the room. of the old building.
âThe new facility is welcoming, more accessible to the public and much easier for our officers to get out in an emergency,â he said.
The former police headquarters, built as the Korter’s Creamery which sold bottled milk in the 1930s and 1940s, is located on a dead end street that can only be accessed by a busy one-way street or a narrow alley.
Fry remembered when he tried to respond to a vehicle crash, but a parked delivery truck prevented his car from exiting through the alley.
âI had to put my car in reverse and back up to the end. On top of that, the street was blocked by traffic during rush hour, he said. âAt times like this, our location hampered our emergency response time. With our new location, we’ll be quicker to respond.
This is crucial, because when it comes to answering 911 calls, “minutes count, seconds count,” said Patrol Officer McKenzie Fosberg, who served in the department for seven years.
âIf we can get places faster, we can help people who need them faster,â she said.
In May 2019, voters in Moscow approved a general bond of $ 9.64 million over 10 years to finance the construction of the new building, a law that reflects community support for the department, Fosberg said.
âWe are really grateful,â she said.
The new space – with a grid of large windows to provide natural light, ample parking for the public and police cars, and a centralized, temperature-controlled evidence room – is well suited to meet the needs of a growing and evolving service and the residents it serves, said Fry.
It will house nine support staff, 37 agents and even a new canine agent.
In April, Fry said, a drug detector dog will join Moscow police forces.
âThis is the first time in the history of the department that we have had a dog,â said Fry.