1/16/2020 4:50:00 PM LAPD new location next to Chisago City Fire Hall preferred
The four member Lakes Area Police Commission reviewed a couple locations for a new police headquarters and directed staff to flesh-out early costs for the site that rose to the top--a government-owned lot off Karmel Avenue, near Chisago City Fire Hall.
Lakes Area Police already have an impound lot there, and the Chisago City public works facility is close-by as well. The new Lakeside School is not even a football field away. Police Commission member Bob Gustafson commented how having a cluster of governmental facilities makes for a nice, planned complex.
Possible benefits using this land include it is public-owned, the existing vehicle impound, plus having the wash bay at Public Works is available for cleaning patrol cars. Additionally, immediate access to the elementary school so students have shelter in event of an evacuation, is a plus.
Commission members over-ruled another site that was also getting an early look. Five acres near Mattson Court/Lofton and County Road 19 was judged to be too closely surrounded by homesites and lacking in public visibility.
The Lakes Area Police Commission had voted in 2019 (story Press November 21) to pursue building a new headquarters for the two-city law enforcement agency.
Existing LAPD space is under-sized, and can not be configured to meet standards of separation of investigation and detention of suspects, no evidence storage, no space for vehicles, among other issues. Offices now are in the Lindstrom City Hall. City cramped operations and storage will be absorbed into a vacated police department. There will be a satellite law enforcement desk area retained for taking reports etc.
Commission member Kevin Stenson stressed that the school resource officers who work at Lindstrom sites will continue to do so, and patrols will be circulating in the Lindstrom area, so the police presence is not going to be one-sided from relocating the main offices.
The Karmel Avenue site has sewer and water available but piping will need to be installed. Chisago City Administrator John Pechman explained that the Chisago City engineer took a cursory look at infrastructure and helped in assessing services availability.
The next phase is to hire a consultant for “very preliminary stuff” according to Chief Bill Schlumbohm, who said floor plans, design materials and other details won’t be considered for a while. Right now site challenges and square feet needed will be analyzed.
The commission unanimously authorized a not to exceed $15,000 to move forward.
The ARMER radio user contract was adopted 4-0. Chief Schlumbohm said the fee per radio was dropped but the users are now responsible for replacements and repairs as the county will not longer be the radio unit provider. The fee was $575 and is now $251 to be allowed on the proprietary system, but Lakes Area Police have to develop a radio hardware fund for future costs. The chief added that the year and a half-long contract negotiation left involved parties at least with a “methodology” behind the user fee that everybody could justify.
In other business: The 2020 impound daily fee is going up to $55 per day and the towing fee to $155.
Lakes Area Police will upgrade software to be able to integrate with a national database that Chief Schlumbohm said has been a long time coming. The state reimburses departments enhancing their systems, and Lakes Area expects to spend $8,000. Schlumbohm said having direct access to the system will create ease in doing certain investigations and the department gets better exposure to justice and crime fighting funding as well.
The National Incident Based Records System or NIBRS replaces the Minnesota Offense Code. Statistics are fed directly into the NIBRS under the new software and the coding of crimes is more uniform across the system, according to the chief.