Where Highway 169 meets Barry Road sits the iconic Kansas City Police Department's North Patrol Division station. Interim Chief of Police David Zimmerman says it’s affectionately referred to as the “bumblebee” thanks to its black and yellow exterior.
That station will officially close its doors Monday, June 26, and a new station will open Wednesday, June 28.
Today community members and officials celebrated the ribbon cutting ceremony of the new home of the North Patrol Division at 11000 Northwest Prairie View Road, overlooking I-29.
The new station’s stone and glass exterior is far from the previous color scheme.
Zimmerman says the new facility is a much needed upgrade from the bumblebee. He recalls during his time at the station, they would have to set up trash cans to catch rain coming through the ceiling.
“We had to put out like 20 waste baskets to catch water falling through the roof,” Zimmerman says.
In addition to the leaks, Zimmerman cited poor security, an unusable detention center, sewer problems and noncompliance with the American with Disabilities Act standards as reasons for the need for a new station.
The original North Patrol station opened in 1976, with about 15 assigned staff members, Zimmerman says. Now, there are about 95 people on staff. This is the first police station in Kansas City to be located in Platte County, Zimmerman says.
The new station cost $9 million and was funded through the Public Safety Sales Tax, which was voted on in 2010. Zimmerman says this was the final project of the tax.
The tax, in conjunction with a sales tax from 2002, funded the replacement of five old police stations, a headquarters remodel and construction of a new crime lab, evidence warehouse, police academy and multipurpose building, according to a news release.
The North Patrol Division serves from the Missouri River to the north boundary of the city, and from North Oak Street west to the state line, says Capt. James Trout, the day watch commander of the North Patrol. As a day watch commander, Trout supervises the sergeants who oversee officers during the day.
The new station will be a major upgrade in facility and atmosphere, Trout says.
“This is a night and day different from where we are coming from,” he says.
The old station’s upkeep was lacking, causing what Trout felt like was an “old atmosphere.” Trout says the new station has taken into account small things that officers need that will make a big difference in the long term.
Trout says things like covered parking and large lockers for officers to move and store their gear efficiently should make a difference. Officers have to move their equipment such as rifles and protective equipment from their personal cares to their patrol cars daily.
Now with the new lockers, the officers unload their gear inside the lockers at the end of the day. Other features include charging ports in officer lockers, hands-free doors, a workout facility, as well as the addition of a community room.
In attendance at the ceremony were several city council members including Teresa Loar, Dan Fowler and Scott Wagner. City Manager Troy Schulte and Aviation Director Pat Klein were also in attendance, as well as Board of Police Commissioners David Kenner and Angela Wasson-Hunt.
Zimmerman says the old station is for sale.
Catherine Wheeler is an intern for KCUR 89.3.