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New Kent police station taking shape

Kent council members tour new police station worksite

By DIANE SMITH Staff Writer Published: June 8, 2017 4:00 AM
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Kent City Council got an up-close look at the police station under construction, touring the construction site before Wednesday's City Council meeting.

The police station is expected to open in October.

Jeff Meyers of D.S. Architecture led the elected officials through the three story structure. The station functions as two buildings, with jail cells set to go in on the south end of the building, and police functions taking place in the northeast portion. The two are actually constructed as two separate structures, Meyers said.

The jail cells, he said, are directly next to a sally port that will hold up to eight vehicles in inclement weather. A temporary holding area is on one side, with jail cells on the other side for men, women and juveniles. Inmates may be held in the jail cells for up to 12 days before they must be transferred to another facility. A detox center is included in the jail.

The police building spreads over three stories, with administrative offices on the top floor, evidence and day rooms for officers in the basement, and rank and file officers occupying the main second floor.

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An Emergency Operations Center would allow police and city officials to stage during public emergencies. The station allows space for police to host press conferences downstairs, he said.

"Hopefully, we never need this space," Meyers said.

All three shifts of the police department toured the construction site two weeks ago, and officers also were involved in the planning process. Based on input from officers, the windows were set up high so the public can't see what is happening in the station, Meyers said.

A training room in the building also can be used as a community room. Those who use that room, he said, would have access to a kitchenette and restrooms, but would not be able to go anywhere else in the building.

"I think it's neat that no matter where you are in the downtown, you can have a view of the building," Meyers said. If the city eventually builds an administration building at the current site of the police station, he said, it will indicate a "true city campus."

Mayor Jerry Fiala said council is leaning towards building on the police station site that faces South Water Street, but details have not been finalized.


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