As our city continues to grow, so should our police department for our community’s safety.
Unfortunately, our Idaho Falls Police Department doesn’t have the room, the Department is already spread out between 8 different buildings around the city.
“One of the questions I get asked very commonly actually is ‘where is the Idaho Falls Police Station?'” said public information officer for IFPD, Jessica Clements.
It’s an understandable question since there’s no signage on the outside of the building indicating its location.
IFPD has been operating their main office out of a 5,700 square-foot space since the 1970s.
“Because of the space that we’re currently in we aren’t able to grow to keep up with the city, and so we’re having to grow outside of the building which isn’t ideal for a police department in a city of this size,” said Clements.
IFPD’s current location limits the department’s ability to do its processes as private and professionally as they’d like.
Some challenges they face daily are the lack of waiting area for victims or individuals coming in to give a statement. Limited interrogation rooms that were built in the 1930s and that don’t allow for modern interrogation tactics, and limited space for the number of employees.
“The department has in its strategic plan, one of their pillars was to build in their five-year plan a new facility. So really our task was to review their need for a building and view their current facilities, did we deem that they were sufficient as is, could they be renovated, kept or did they really need a new facility,” said IFPD Facilities Evaluation Citizen’s Committee Chair, Chris Lee.
“We are public employees, we want to be accessible to the community, and we want to be there for them when they need us, and we’re really hard to find and it makes us less accessible and it’s not something we want for our services and for our relationship with the community,” Clements.
The IFPD’s facilities evaluation citizens committee whose task it is to review IFPD’s current facilities, issued a report last week recommending to the city to build its own police station.
“We very much all felt that the current facilities were deficient and have been for quite some time, that was the recommendation twelve years ago was that they build their building back then. Not only their staffing numbers have remained flat, but they have not been able to acquire and deploy new technology that’s required for new policing efforts,” said Lee.
The committee met on Friday to discuss the report and how to fund the new station. No final decisions were made.
The next step is to find a location for the new station, figure out the cost and how it will be funded.
If a new police station is built, it will be the first time the Idaho Falls Police Department will operate out of a space that isn’t leased, borrowed or shared.