KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A fixture of the landscape north of the Missouri River will be changing soon. North Patrol division, or the “Bumble Bee” station, is moving to a new location. Construction on a new building is set for this fall and it can’t come soon enough for the people who work there.
Built in the mid-1970’s, North Patrol has a certain retro flair to it. You’ve seen the outside, but inside the outdated space and motif is in overdrive. When it was originally built, 15 officers were assigned to work in North Patrol. In 2015 nearly 100 police and civilian employees struggle to maintain their own space.
The main lobby is the biggest open space. It’s where community meetings are held. Once past the front desk, every square foot of space outside of a walking path is used to it’s fullest. It’s also common to see extra towels on the window sills to keep the drafts out.
Needless to say, new digs will help everyone. One of the key improvements Major Roger Lewis is looking forward to: making the building safer.
“The added security measures being built into our facilities today are far and away safer and more secure than what we built in buildings 40 years ago,” explained Maj. Lewis.
The two main complaints Maj. Lewis has heard: response times, and who’s paying the bill?
His answers were easy. Officers are dispatched from the areas they work in, not from the building. The cost is already budgeted using public safety tax money, and the land the new building will sit on is already owned by the city.
“I think 112th Street and I-29 is a location that’s going to be very accessible to the public, not only if they have to come to the building to make a report, but when they can utilize the building for community buildings and public functions,” Maj. Lewis said.
There’s no official timeline just yet, the groundbreaking is expected some time this fall, and completion of the project should take about 18 months. At that point, they’ll have the ribbon cutting.