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New DeKalb police station opens today

Published: Friday, Nov. 22, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT
Caption
(Monica Maschak – mmaschak@shawmedia.com)
Patrol officer Jeff Winters unloads bins of evidence from a truck Thursday at the new DeKalb police station. Police personnel have been gradually packing up the old police station in the DeKalb Municipal Building for the move. The station is said to be functional beginning at 7 a.m. Friday.

DeKALB – If you see a caravan of police vehicles rolling across DeKalb this evening, fear not: DeKalb police are just celebrating their move to the new police station.

The new 35,000-square-foot station at 700 W. Lincoln Highway officially opened at 7 a.m. today, after police officials spent about two days moving records, evidence and other necessities from the DeKalb Municipal Building, 200 S. Fourth St.

The transition, which began with moving dispatch and communications operations more than a month ago, was pretty smooth, DeKalb Police Chief Eugene Lowery said.

“Everybody in the department and people throughout the city have helped us out,” Lowery said.

The new building features a separate booking area with its own entrances and exits, emergency buttons throughout the building to summon more officers, and an overnight holding cell for intoxicated suspects that has a drain and can be cleaned from outside the cell. The city broke ground on the $12.7 million project in September 2012.

It will house about 60 sworn police officers, three secretaries, a handful of community service officers and a maintenance worker, said Chad McNett, the department’s community relations officer. The new building contained new furniture, but officials started moving personal items, records and other materials Wednesday morning with a rented box truck.

Residents also should start using the new police station today, but those who go to the old location still can press the emergency button in the lobby to be routed to dispatch in an emergency, McNett said. All police personnel have the same phone numbers, McNett said.

“All I have to do is unplug my phone, carry it over to West Lincoln and voila,” McNett said.

Police vehicles will have a ceremonial processional at 5 p.m. today from the old to new station, but police leaders are planning a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house for January, Lowery said.

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