For those unfamiliar with the property, the new
campus occupies the full city block and the station is located on
the back side of the block. The front door faces Fifth Street, and a
public parking area is available between the front door and the
The ribbon cut will take place outside at the front door. Guests
will then be invited inside for a limited access tour. The event
will be catered by Flossie and Delzina’s in Lincoln.
The ribbon cut and open house signifies the completion of a project
that has been ongoing since September of 2016.
A plaque inside the
front entry at the new police station pays respect to the Jefferson
School that was a big part of local education for 50 years.
At the end of the 2016 school year, Lincoln
Elementary School District 27 Superintendent Kent Froebe announced
that due to declining student population at Jefferson, the district
had determined that the school should be closed and students who
would normally attend Jefferson School would be redistributed,
primarily to Northwest School.
The district had no plans to maintain the building, and began
entertaining how to dispose of the property. It was then that the
city of Lincoln got involved, based on the suggestion of then Ward 2
Alderwoman Kathy Horn. After having a conversation with the school
district, it was determined that the building could be repurposed
into a new police station for the city department. The district
school board offered to sell the building and adjacent property to
the north of it to the city for $75,000.
Prior to this offer, the quest for a location for a new police
station and also a new fire station had begun in September of 2013
with the proposal that the city implement a four percent utility tax
that would generate enough funding to support a number of major
investments for the city including funding for police and fire
structures and funding for the city’s pension funds.
Prior to all this, in 2013 a space needs assessment had been done
for the police department. The department was at that time occupying
space at the Logan County Safety Complex. The space they were
allotted there was approximately 1,200 square feet. A professional
assessment determined that for the department to operate at its best
potential, the space actually needed was ten times that amount,
12,200 square feet.
A cost analysis was done at about the same time, and the city was
told that a new construction site for the police department alone
would run in the range of $6 million to $7 M. A combined police and
fire department would cost in the range of $ 12 M.
When the Jefferson School became available for $75,000, it was
determined that the total square footage would exceed what had been
recommended and the cost of retrofitting the school to become a
police station would cost about $3 million – 50 percent less than
This week Lincoln Police Chief Paul Adams offered a walk-through of
the building for LDN in preparation for next week’s ribbon cut. One
of the prized locations in the building is a new training center
that takes up most of the extra square footage inside the building.
Adams explained that the training center would be a huge asset to
the city in a number of ways.
He said that with the size of the room and the seating capacity, the
training center could be utilized not just by the Lincoln
Department, but by departments throughout the region who needed
proper training space. He noted that there would be a cost involved
in using the center, which would benefit the Lincoln Department, but
that also, day-long or multiple day training events would equal
hotel/motel stays, as well as added business for local eateries,
convenience stores and gas stations.
He said that the training center has already generated interest in
other communities and with other training programs. For example, the
Springfield Mobile Training Unit has helped equip the room offering
an in-kind trade where that they paid for part of the equipment in
the room in exchange for being able to use the room a couple of
times a year. Adams said that had been a win-win, because the city
had saved money on the purchase of equipment, and had guaranteed
that a couple of times a year 30 to 40 people would be gathering in
Lincoln from out of town, again visiting local eateries and other
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Going through the building, Adams pointed out a
number of places where dollars had been saved thanks to doing
business with local contractors and retailers. For example, he
pointed out that there was a room designated as a workout area. In
the budget for the building there was no room to put in electrical
services to the room. However, the electric contractor decided he
could donate that work, so there is now sufficient electricity in
the room for workout equipment.
Another example he pointed out was the large quantity
of large screen televisions throughout the building. The televisions
can be used in a number of ways by the department. Adams said he
went to the Lincoln Wal-Mart to purchase the screens when they were
on sale. He was going to be getting a pretty good deal, but the deal
became even sweeter when the manager heard that the screens would be
going into the new police station. Adams said thanks to Wal-Mart the
screens were purchased at well below $100 each.
One of Adams favorite stories about the new building is how that the
department got $90,000 worth of special storage units for the
evidence room for about $8,000.
To make the most of the space available, the master plan called for
large storage racks on gliders that would slide together. Utilizing
these types of racks, evidence could be stored and the racks slid
together. When evidence needed to be retrieved the racks could be
slid apart making enough room for an officer to walk the aisle and
get what was needed. Utilizing these types of racks over standard
shelving was going to about double the storage capacity inside the
evidence room. However, the racks in the initial design were quoted
at $90,000. Adams said that wasn’t something the city could afford,
so the special racks were removed from the plan.
However, he said one day he got a phone call from the contractor who
was installing lockers in the new station. That contractor had just
gotten done talking to a company in St. Louis that was dissolving.
The contractor had been called to haul away and destroy the
company’s inventory. In the inventory was the exact set of racks
that had been in the original Lincoln PD plan. The contractor told
Adams that if Lincoln could provide someone to go to St. Louis and
tear down and ship the racks, the city could have them for free.
Adams and two others from the LPD went to St. Louis, took the racks
apart, got them ready to ship and hired a truck to bring them back
to Lincoln where that the contractor installing the lockers
installed the special racks. Adams said that was quite a bargain for
the city, and would assure there would be plenty of room for proper
Throughout the building there are many remarkable, state-of-the-art
pieces of equipment that are designed to make the job of the LPD
safer, and much more efficient. Fume hoods in the evidence
processing room will protect officers from noxious fumes when they
are processing, for example, drug evidence. State-of-the-art
surveillance systems around the building will assure that those
inside are secure, and those seeking to gain entry are allowed in
when needed and kept out when not.
Adams also pointed out the safe room that will be a part of the
front entry way. He said that a special phone will be installed
inside the entry way. The phone is on order and will hopefully be
here sometime in August. The front doors of the building are always
unlocked, but that is as far as anyone can get inside the building
without being admitted by personnel.
However, he said as an example, if a female is out at night, and
feels she is being followed or threatened, she can come into the
front entry way, push a button on the phone and say she feels she is
in danger. The exterior doors will instantly lock, and that
potential victim will be inside a safe room until officers can get
to her. Adams said that the call the potential victim makes will go
to the officers in the building and also to the 911 dispatch center,
which is manned 24/7.
At the Wednesday evening open house, guests will be permitted to see
portions of the building, but not all of it. There are areas within
the building that the public should not be privy to in order to
protect officers and keep evidence, as well as potential victims or
suspects safe. The public is asked to come out and see the new
building, but to please respect the restricted areas.