Kent Police face setbacks: Prepare to move into new building

David Williams

With construction of their new station completed, Kent Police are facing some problems trying to move in.

Kent Chief of Police Michelle Lee said the station will bring better functionality for the department by having administrators working closely with other administrators rather than being spread throughout the building as in the old station.

The building, compliant with current state and federal regulations, is also designed to be more community-friendly and inviting, opting for plenty of natural light, multiple entrances, public restrooms and a large parking lot. Chief Lee hopes to have all department resources at the new building in early May.

So far, the administrative offices (Chief of Police, Administrative Lieutenant, etc.) have all moved in, as well as the Detective Bureau.

However, most police work is still being run out of the old police station on South Water Street, including all of their patrols, two Captains’ offices, their dispatch, records and the jail.

One problem that’s come up during the moving process is the transfer of evidence, files and other sensitive information from one building to another.

The department can’t hire a moving company to transport things like evidence and weapons. The department is also facing the logistical issue of moving their communications center and 911 lines.

While this is being done we must ensure that we are still recording calls, dispatch appropriately and move to a new space seamlessly,” Lee said.

Since their patrols and the jail both depend on dispatch, all three sections will need to be moved at the same time.

This is the bulk of the department and includes about 50 people; all of whom need to bring their personal equipment, department equipment, vehicles and everything else left at the old building.

“If you’ve ever moved residences you understand how things don’t always go smoothly,” Lee said.

David Williams is the safety reporter. Contact him at [email protected].