NEWTON, Kan. (KSNW) – A proposal to expand Newton’s police station is moving forward.
On Monday, a community council recommended the $3 million project unanimously to the City Commission. It is estimated the proposal would meet the needs of the police department for the next seven to 10 years by making more efficient use of space, relocating some operations, and collaborating with Harvey County Sheriff’s Office on some joint uses.
Renovations included in Phase 1 of the plan include:
- Replace the lockers in the locker rooms with larger models to hold police uniforms and all other wearable equipment needed in today’s working environment.
- Replace the existing heating and cooling system with rooftop units for both the Police and Sheriff’s sides of the building.
- Remove and replace the windows on both the Police and Sheriff’s sides of the building.
- Remodel of the entryway to the Law Enforcement Center for a more inviting appearance and more secure use of space for waiting areas.
- Upgrade the Police evidence storage area and add an interior office and evidence processing lab with equipment to today’s standards.
- Remove quartermaster storage from the existing building and utilize that space for large case evidence storage as needed for either agency.
- Immediately test for lead levels in the existing indoor shooting range and establish a cost for abatement and upgrades if necessary.
- The City will continue to put aside dollars in the budget each year to fund a future new facility as space needs continue to grow.
Phase 2 of the plan includes building an outdoor shooting range, creating a new law enforcement training center, and abating any lead contamination found in the existing shooting range.
Police Department’s Animal Control Office, polygraph equipment and extra interview space will move to the first floor of City Hall.
An earlier plan to move the police department into an old Dillons store was dismissed because of public concerns over the cost.
The proposal will be presented to the Newton City Commission on July 25, and a joint meeting of the City and County Commissioners will be scheduled in the next 30 days to review and discuss next steps.