Cape Girardeau PD needs new facility, unable to move near Arena Park

Cape Girardeau PD needs new facility, unable to move near Arena Park

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - The Cape Girardeau Police Department will need a new home.

City Manager Scott Meyer confirmed on May 2, that the building the city was looking at will not be a possible facility for the department.

Meyer said FGM Architects came to look at the facility and said the outside of the structure would need to be hardened to hold the department.

After looking into the cost of this, Meyer said that the price would be higher than constructing a new building.

The city contracted with FGM Architects to evaluate the building to determine what changes could be needed to meet the police department's and municipal court's needs.

Meyer said the city will need to look into finding a possible location for the department, or that a new facility could be built where the current one stands.

The police department's need for a new facility became necessary as police say the daytime population and calls for service grew. Though residential population of the city is less than 40,000, current estimates place the daytime population at more than 100,000.

Responding to more than 140 calls for service per day, on top of other commitments, they say their work has become more technical. They say the current building cannot effectively accommodate all of the detectives, evidence specialists, technology and other resources.

Police say the new station will also accommodate legislative changes requiring additional evidence retention and accessibility requirements.

Safety issues also top the list for reasons to move to a new station. The jail is too small and should be located on the first floor with a secure entrance. The new facility will be designed to properly separate prisoners, the public and employees.

When voters approved the fire sales tax and public safety trust fund in November 2014, they approved a play to pay for a new police station from a combination of sales, restaurant gross receipts and casino taxes.

Early estimates priced the building or renovation at $11 million. By using an existing city-owned property and an existing building, more funding could be allocated to meeting the police department's needs.

In addition, there will likely be enough funding to move the municipal court into the police station project.

Police say City Hall, where the court is currently located, does not have the proper facilities to secure prisoners and the public on court days. Transporting prisoners to and from City Hall would no longer be necessary.

A summary of the police station funding sources includes $4.2 million from restaurant tax, $4.0 million from fire tax and $2.8 million from casino funds. That totals $11 million.

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