City dedicates new Sand Creek police facility
A 37,800-square-foot tribute to law and order got a worthy welcome Monday, June 17, signaling the start of a new era for the Sand Creek Police substation.A standing-room-only crowd gathered on the vestibule of the new precinct headquarters, located at 950 Academy Park Loop, to watch station Cmdr. Scott Whittington, Mayor John Suthers, Police Chief Vince Niski and other local leaders cut the ribbon and dedicate the new facility.
It was an auspicious event, some four years in the making.
“We’re very excited to present to you a substation that is truly yours,” Whittington told the enthusiastic group of police, community advocates and civic leaders that gathered under cloud-dappled skies.
The station replaces a 30-year-old, 17,560-square-foot facility located at 4125 Center Park Drive. When that campus was built in the late 1980s, Suthers said, Colorado Springs’ population hovered around 280,000. Today’s estimates put the population at 480,000, and growth in Southeast has been reflected in the growth of its police precinct.
“Our city’s growth is expected to continue, which is why the Sand Creek substation was built – to accommodate that growth,” Suthers said. “This is a very important milestone for public safety in our community.”
The Sand Creek substation houses 115 sworn officers, 11 civilians and nine volunteers, Whittington previously told the Express, but is authorized to a staff at 145. And though they weren’t all in the facility at once, the team had the now-decommissioned substation on Center Park Drive bursting at the seams.
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The new facility on Academy Park Loop has all the elements critical to efficient and effective policing, including: private interview rooms; a state-of-the-art evidence storage room; a staff gym; locker rooms complete with over-sized lockers; designated offices for command staff; improved work spaces for sworn officers, detectives and civilian staff; a surplus of secure storage; an armory; a massive secured garage for loading and unloading evidence vans or suspects; and, for those who find themselves running afoul of the law, 12 holding cells. There’s even an outdoor fitness area for staff and a patio where team members can take a break, gather to talk or just decompress.
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And since at its heart, policing is about protecting and serving the community, the architects and design team made plenty of accommodations for the constituents. The civilian space comprises a large waiting room, a sun-soaked community meeting room that Whittington said could double as a Southeast-based emergency operations center, and a smaller meeting space where people can safely conduct online-initiated transactions or other business.
The city tapped Springs-based DLR Group to take on the architectural responsibilities and local contractor GH Phipps for the construction. The department purchased its sprawling 8-acre campus for $760,000 and building costs rang in at around $15.5 million.
As the Colorado Springs Police Department honor guard carefully raised the American, state and department flags over the new substation, a hush fell over the crowd.
“This is a great day for the Colorado Springs Police Department,” Niski later said. “We couldn’t be more pleased with the results.”