ST. CHARLES – By Sept. 16, St. Charles police officers and other personnel are expected to be in their new home at 1515 W. Main Street on the site of the former Valley Shopping Center.
Personnel are expected to move into the new state-of-the-art 56,000 square-foot police station starting on Sept. 12 or 13.
"We hope to be operational Sept. 16 in the new police station," St. Charles Deputy Police Chief Erik Mahan said.
As one might imagine, there are many things to consider in such a move.
"We're trying to do it as seamlessly as we can," Mahan said. "We're relying on the Kane County Sheriff's Office/Kane County Jail to help us if we have any arrestees or something like that. Rather than booking or processing here, they're allowing us to bring them straight there and do some processing there, just over that maybe Friday/Saturday time frame. But yeah, getting the records department moved and the evidence moved and booking and detention operations moved, it's quite an undertaking."
The St. Charles Police Department is currently located at 211 N. Riverside Ave. along the Fox River. In July 2018, work started on razing the former Valley Shopping Center to make way for the new police station.
Some of the building's features include a sophisticated evidence room with bar-coding system, advanced lock-up facility and a secured area for attorneys to speak with suspects in custody, attached squad car garage, training room, wellness center and community room for public use.
The project initially was estimated to cost $24.6 million. The project is coming in under budget, Mahan said.
"It's going to be a significant amount under budget, I think," he said.
The station is expected to serve the city's needs for 50 years. Mahan said the new police station will be a "much more efficient space" for the department's operations.
"The building we're in right now is two or three buildings kind of put together," he said. "What we're really looking forward to is we've got indoor covered parking for our squad cars. When there's snow and ice and that type of stuff, we don't need to spend a lot of time getting snow and ice off the cars and hopefully it prolongs the life of our cars."
Even with the new location, the police station will still be centrally located. The new location also provides room for expansion.