Crews break ground on new Cape Girardeau police department - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Crews break ground on new Cape Girardeau police department

Crews broke ground on October 12, 2016. (Source: Justin Fischer, KFVS) Crews broke ground on October 12, 2016. (Source: Justin Fischer, KFVS)
(Source: City of Cape Girardeau) (Source: City of Cape Girardeau)
Chief Wes Blair, Former Chief Rick Hetzel, and Former Chief Carl Kinnison together at the groundbreaking ceremony. (Source: Justin Fischer, KFVS) Chief Wes Blair, Former Chief Rick Hetzel, and Former Chief Carl Kinnison together at the groundbreaking ceremony. (Source: Justin Fischer, KFVS)
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

City leaders have broken ground on the new Cape Girardeau Police Department.

According to the City of Cape Girardeau, construction is expected to be finished in early 2018.

The police department's technical specialists, evidence processing, community meetings, administration and other functions will move to the new location, but the city said it will not change the patrol presence.

"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.

The city said the new building will have the space needed for the growing volume and complexity of police work.

The existing facility on South Sprigg is about 19,000 square feet, including the modular office unit, but not including the storage buildings.

The new facility will be about 35,500 square feet with a storage outbuilding of about 3,300 square feet.

According to the city, the facility will accommodate legislative changes requiring additional evidence retention and accessibility requirements.

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, according to the city. They say the new facility is designed to properly separate court offices, prisoners, the public and employees.

The new location at 2530 Maria Louisa Lane on the edge of Arena Park has always been owned by the city.

The Army Reserve leased the property since 1968.

That building was recently demolished after the design-build team determined remodeling it would not be cost effective.

Voters approved a plan to pay for a new police station in November 2014 with the Fire Sales Tax and Public Safety Trust Fund. It pays for the plan from a combination of sales, restaurant and casino taxes.

The budget for the new building is $11 million.

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