Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Thanks for your support!

Thanks so much to the hundreds of people who came out to our grand opening celebration of the new Metro Patrol Division Station this afternoon, and thanks to all those who were there in spirit. I was especially touched today when the crowd broke out into a roar of applause when one of the speakers said our officers deserve a nice facility like this. The truth is, they do deserve this, and they've been working under pretty bad conditions the last several years at the previous station on 63rd Street. But who really deserves this is the community, and we are so proud to share this with them. Below are some of my remarks from today's event:

"Thank you everyone for coming out today to celebrate the opening of a facility that will allow us to provide better police service to more than 97,000 Kansas Citians who reside in the Metro Patrol Division and the thousands more who visit it every day.

This new police station is more than 2.5 times larger than the old station to better accommodate the public and the 201 officers and civilians who work here around the clock, 365 days a year. It has 102 more parking spaces and a community room for neighborhood gatherings. It’s also within a quarter-mile of two city bus lines for easy access.

We very much appreciate how supportive area residents have been of this project. The Marlborough Neighborhood Association donated $8,000 to have three benches installed near the main entrance to honor all police service and commemorate those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. Marlborough also donated several historic pictures of the Metro Patrol Division area, including one of Fairyland Park. We stand today on the site of that former amusement park and are excited about bringing life and vibrancy back to this portion of the city.

This new building allows much more space for property crimes detectives to work, creates a more secure detention area and contains room to expand in the future. Behind you, you will see two outbuildings that now store all of our specialty vehicles, including the command post bus, Bomb and Arson vehicle and Tactical Team tanks. These were previously housed in a rented storage facility, and having them here allows for much faster response times.

This project was built to meet the LEED Silver standard, meaning it was designed to be environmentally responsible. We made every effort to ensure the building is energy efficient and has a minimal impact on the surrounding area. This new station has received the Southtown Beautification Award for new construction projects from the Southtown Council.

There are many people to thank for making this new Metro Patrol Division station a reality, but the most important to recognize are you, the citizens of Kansas City. By voting to approve the public safety sales tax in 2002, you paved the way for this $17 million facility. Were it not for your vote and your tax dollars, police would still be operating out of a small, 35-year-old station on 63rd Street that is in such poor condition that it will be torn down as soon as it is vacated. Thank you for your commitment to keeping Kansas City safe.

We would also like to recognize the work of:

• Ken Henton and John Conner, of Hoefer Wysoki Architects,
• Project Manager Chris Liermann and Site Superintendent Jack Ferrell of Titan Construction,
• Eric Bosch, of the City Architect’s office,
• Consultant Mike Oldham, of HNTB Engineering
• Artist Michael Davis, whose piece “Salute” is at the main entrance
• Project Officer Lee Rafferty, of the KCPD Capital Improvements Unit
• And all of the department elements who worked countless hours to make the new Metro Patrol Division Station fully operational."

Remember, the new station opens for business at 9 a.m. Friday, June 18.

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