The Burlington Police Department will move into its new home this week. The roughly two block move is expected to take about three days to complete.
The BPD is currently housed in the 400 block of N. 3rd Street. The large brick building has been its home since the mid-1990’s, even though it was only supposed to be a temporary relocation.
Structural and security issues led the city to call for a bond referendum in November 2015, seeking the authority to borrow up to $4 million to purchase a former bank in the 200 block of Jefferson Street and transform it into a police station. Voters overwhelmingly approved the referendum.
Police Chief Dennis Kramer said the move will begin Wednesday morning.
“It should take us probably three days at least to get a majority of our department over there,” said Kramer. “But we will hopefully be functional by Thursday morning. I know over the next several weeks, there will be little things that come up, just functionality-wise inside the police department that may not be as streamlined as we want it.”
Kramer said his goal is for patrol officers to be working out of the new building by Thursday morning. He said they will still be out on the streets, but what he is referring to is their ability to return to the station and work on reports and other issues related to their shifts.
The chief said while his department is eager to get into the new police station, the move will not be rushed.
“We have to make sure that, electronically, we are able to function in the new police department with our computer systems and our telephones and things of that nature before we can move the entire department over there,” said Kramer.
He hopes to have all personnel in the building by the weekend or as close to it as possible.
Kramer said that while the move is taking place, people will still be able to call the non-emergency phone number at (319) 671-7001 to contact members of the BPD. He said dispatchers will be able to contact officers or administrators directly if the phone lines are down for any amount of time.
Kramer called it is an exciting time for his department and the entire community.
“The community has supported this project from Day 1,” said Kramer. “Down the road, in looking, we are very excited to make this move and get it functioning at the new building and be able to have an open house. Hopefully, sometime we are looking at late June, the first part of July of having several open houses at the new building so the community can come and take a tour of the building to see what their tax dollars have done.”
When asked the benefits of the new police station, Kramer said they are across the board.
- The evidence system will be in one area to improve efficiency
- The records department will use one area instead of multiple areas in the new building.
- Each patrol sergeant will have their own office instead of all four sharing one office.
- The Criminal Investigations Division and the Narcotics Task Force will work in an open area to improve communications between the two divisions.
- The BPD will now have a training area that can host in-house or regional training sessions.