The Glenwood Police Department made its move official last Thursday – cutting the ribbon on its new home in the lower level of City Hall at 3 N. Vine St. The two-story building previously housed the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints and was purchased by the city of Glenwood last year for the relocation of City Hall, the police department and Glenwood Municipal Utilities offices.
The police department portion of the building was the last to be completed. Officers and administrative staff have been working from their new offices since mid-December.
“I’m absolutely pleased,” Glenwood Police Chief Eric Johansen said. “I think Pinnacle (Contruction) did a wonderful job on construction. I think it turned out very, very well.”
Johansen said the approximately 7,000-square foot facility gives the department about twice the working space it had at its previous location across the street at 209 Sharp St., but more importantly, provides a higher level of security for department personnel.
“It gives us added security. The older building was just outdated,” Johansen said. “We have added security cameras, balance and checks on the evidence room and access-controlled doors.”
Another perk is officers can be at a remote location but have the capability of watching an interview taking place from the police station.
Johansen says the building also provides the department the ability to work with Mills County Emergency Management and to have a back-up dispatcher position on site as well.
“If for some reason, they (Mills County Communications Center) would have to evacuate and leave the courthouse, they could come down here and operate,” he said. “The emergency operations center would be for an emergency situation where they need an alternate place. This place provides them with a lot more security than what the current emergency operations center provides.
Should electricity be lost, Johansen said a generator could provide power for the entire lower level of the building.
“The basement of this building would be available in case shelter is needed in an emergency situation,” he said.
Another added benefit of the new building, Johansen said, is utility costs.
“The old building had a lot of glass windows. The current building, three-fourths of it is underground.” Johansen said. “I expect our utility costs to drop immensely. The lights are all running off of motion sensors so if somebody were to leave a light on, it will automatically shut off.”
There is one drawback to the move. The police department no longer has a garage to shelter its fleet of cruisers. Johansen said he is working with public works director Perry Cook to identify possible garage space at the city shops.
“My hopes are that eventually we’ll have a detached garage on the lower level of our parking lot,” Johansen said. “That would be in the future, if it happens. With budget constraints, that would be way down the road.”