Members of the Kansas City Police Department joined current and former elected officials, architects, engineers and community leaders Oct. 29 for a groundbreaking ceremony at the new South Patrol headquarters near Bannister Mall.
Councilwoman Cathy Jolly (center) was joined by her son Drake, who scooped the first shovelful of dirt to make way for the new police station. Jolly praised the local community for working with police on the new station.
“You made this happen,” she told some four dozen members of the public who attended the groundbreaking.
Chief of Police James Corwin said the new facility was badly needed, as the old one on Hickman Mills Drive has a leaky roof and inadequate facilities for female officers and community meetings. He said the new station was thanks to voters – the $28 million project is being funded by the ¼-cent public safety sales tax voters passed in 2002.
“This is thanks to the generosity and foresight of voters,” he said. “This area was once a campground, a safe haven for pioneers on the Three Trails. It was a safe haven once and it will be a safe haven once again.”
The 25-acre site on which these will be constructed is the former location of the Hart Grove Camp Ground, which was a stop for pioneers who were headed west on the Santa Fe, Oregon and California Trails.
Patrick McInerney, president of the Board of Police Commissioners, said the station is a good match for South KC.
“This shows the depth of the department’s commitment to this great part of our city, a part some have avoided and others have run from,” he said. “Now, we have roots in this community that will last for generations.”
Councilman John Sharp agreed.
“This is a tremendous site, and it’s a major step in revitalizing the 71/Bannister corridor,” he said. “It’s a great day for Kansas City.”
The project will include the construction of new stations for the South Patrol and Special Operations divisions; a multipurpose building with room for community meetings, office space, a gymnasium, work-out facilities and back-up 911 center; two vehicle storage buildings and a fueling site; and kennels and office space for the Canine Section. The whole project is expected to be completed in the spring of 2013.