The Kansas City Missouri Police have a new home in the Northland.
The new North Patrol Station opened this week at 11000 N.W. Prairie View Road near the Kansas City International Airport.
The police invited community members to come out Friday to celebrate the newly completed facility, which includes an available space for the community to use free of charge for meetings and special events. The community room can hold about 80 people. In order to use the space, members of the public just have to call and reserve it.
Major Sharon Laningham, who oversees the construction division for the Kansas City Missouri Police Department, says they anticipate scout groups, neighborhood groups and other civic organizations to use the space. It was included in order to give people a positive reason to visit the police station.
“If the only reason you come is to report that you have been a victim, it’s kind of a negative experience. If you can go there and hold a meeting, you can build positive relationships and hopefully get to know some of the police on a regular basis rather than a need basis,” Laningham said.
The station, which replaces the black and yellow structure at the intersection of Highway 169 and North Barry Road, is much larger than its predecessor. Laningham says the building also has features more conducive to modern police work.
“In the old north patrol, the design had the detention room in the basement. In the new building the desk sergeant is close to detention. That is critical to operation,” Laningham said.
The building has a separate employee entrance on the opposite side of the building from the public entrance. It also includes two expansion space areas that could be used for a large crime situation or as a control center for a disaster.
The new station is much farther north than the old station. Laningham says the police department will currently keep the same number of staff of about 90. However, they have built in room to grow.
“There’s a lot of growth up there and looking into the future, that appears to be where it will grow. Being close to the airport also allows us to be available to the airport police if they need something,” Laningham said.
The close proximity to the airport also saved about $750,000 on the $9-million construction costs, because the police will be sharing gas pumps with the airport.
A 2010 bonded public safety sales tax paid for the new station. That tax has already covered the renovation of Kansas City Police Department headquarters in downtown Kansas City, a new South Patrol and Special Operations Division building near Interstate 435 and Bannister Road and an East Patrol Station and Crime Lab at 27th Street and Brooklyn Avenue.
While the new North Patrol Station is the last completely new building to be covered under that tax, Laningham says upgrades to the now 10-year-old Police Academy off Pleasant Valley Road are also on tap for 2017.
“We are going to repair the normal things that you would have to repair in a 10-year-old building,” Laningham said.
Visitors are welcome to the new North Patrol Station either for use in the community room, or to view the new public art outside the space. The three piece stone structure is meant to represent the community and the police coming together.
The old North Patrol station is currently up for sale.