The current police station, built in 1999 to house 18 employees, now houses more than 40 employees on staff and space has become a premium as one of the buildings two interview rooms is used as storage space after the dispatch center was expanded. Including the chief, Monroe has 32 sworn officers plus support staff. Buchanan said his plans are to have 36 sworn officers on the department.
City officials have said once the new police facility opens, their former space will be used to house the growing administrative staff.
Revenues from the 0.50-percent income tax increase passed by voters in 2017 is paying for the project. The city spent $1.9 million to purchase the property in early 2019 which includes the strip center retail spaces, parking areas, pond and a vacant lot.
The new facility will have gated area with canopies to park the department’s SWAT vehicle, cruisers and other vehicles; a drive-through sallyport where Foggyz Vapor Lounge formerly occupied; a new public lobby with a vestibule that leads to a large training room with a kitchenette and adjacent restrooms, a soft interview room, a larger records office and storage area, a self-contained dispatching center and more.
The new facility will also have room for expansion that might include an indoor shooting range that might be constructed in the future.