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Step into the Future: Inside the Idaho Falls Police Department’s Modernized Facility

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - It's the beginning of a new era for the Idaho Falls Police Department.

On Tuesday, the city of Idaho Falls held a ribbon cutting ceremony dedicating the new Idaho Falls Police Complex, located at 775 Northgate Mile. The new building serves as the police department's first consolidated and standalone facility.

The difference for the police officers themselves is like night and day according to police Chief Bryce Johnson. 

 Those changes begin immediately at the main entrance.

"Because it is open to the public all the sheetrock, is actually ballistic sheetrock. And then the glass serves as ballistic glass," said Johnson.

"It was designed to protect the employees, (because) police stations around the country have been targets."

What's most exciting for the officers is the pure amount of space.

In the past, the majority of police resources was divided through smaller buildings in Idaho Falls with a main hub at the Bonneville County Law Enforcement building. According to Johnson, the department was severely handicapped in the way of evidence lockup, training facilities, and armories, plus storage.

"We did our best to secure everything that we had," said Johnson.

"But we had so many different buildings that were not purpose designed. We're very grateful we didn't have any major incidents...someone breaking in and taking our stuff. 

The new facility will allow room to grow and have areas devoted to investigating digital crimes and internet crimes against children.

"A lot of cases these days have a device attached to it; a computer, a phone, a laptop, something like that," said Johnson as he walked around the new digital forensics room.

"Everyone wants to live stream, and we appreciate that. Makes it a little bit easier to solve the case."

As for costs, the station itself was in the ballpark of $30 million. While that's a hefty sum, the city was able to pay for the building without increasing taxes.

"The funding mechanism is something known as certificates of participation," explains Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper.

Those certificates were sold at an interest rate of 1.89, percent. Which means, we're getting the $30 million for a very, very low interest rate."

"We were able to pay that back out of budgeted funds within the city's budget each year. And so...there is no additional burden or debt payment that the public has to come up with," Casper said.

Chief Johnson said the building stands as an investment towards the health of a growing community.

"Where police departments fail, the city has failed," said Johnson.

"That goes to economics. It goes to housing values, it goes to people's daily lives. And so, this helps the police department be a very vibrant, very strong member of the community. Which builds every other part of the community. So I think it's a huge investment in the community," Johnson said.

For a full view of what the new station includes and how police believe it will impact the community, watch our full tour of the station below.

Article Topic Follows: Idaho Falls

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Seth Ratliff

Seth is a reporter for Local News 8.


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