Monday, November 1, 2010

Construction now underway for new South Patrol and Special Ops divisions

As I told you about last week, we broke ground on Friday on the new South Patrol and Special Operations division staions. It was a great day with lots of Southland community members, elected officials, and officers who are excited to get new facilities.

Below are the remarks I delivered at the event, and some pictures from the day. Keep in mind this project is being paid for by the 1/4-cent public safety sales tax voters passed in 2002. That tax is up for renewal tomorrow. Here are my remarks from that day: 

"Thank you, everyone, for joining us on this crisp morning. I want to especially welcome the elected officials here with us today, the members of the Board of Police Commissioners, staff members of the City Architect’s Office and our Capital Improvements Unit, Hoefer Wysocki Architects and Titan Construction. All of you have played a big part in getting us to this day.

Where we stand today was once the Hart Grove Campground. It was a place of rest and refreshment for pioneers headed west on the three trails that converged here: the Santa Fe, California and Oregon trails. It was a safe haven for those pioneers, and it will be a safe haven once again. The construction of the new South Patrol and Special Operations Division stations will increase police presence and effectiveness both here in the Southland and throughout the city. We believe it will spur development in this area and deter crime.

These facilities are badly needed. The current South Patrol Division was built in 1978 and is not serving the needs of officers or residents. Its roof is leaking, there are inadequate facilities for female officers and community groups, and highway access is poor. Our Special Operations Division is housed in an even worse location – a dilapidated, old warehouse built in the 1930s with horrible leaks and mold that has previously caught fire.

Our officers and the community deserve better. And thanks to the generosity and foresight of Kansas City voters, they will get it. This station is being constructed with money generated from the quarter-cent public safety sales tax that residents approved in 2002. I want to sincerely thank the community for recognizing the importance of public safety. Without you, none of this would be possible."

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