By Lindsay Starr Platt, Correspondent
On Friday morning, Belton Police Department opened it’s doors to local media for a tour of the department’s new facilities. The approval to renovate the oldest parts of the building was approved in last Tuesday’s city council meeting. Local television and newspaper media personnel had the chance to see the facilities.
Chief of Police, Gene Ellis directed the tour first showing the old police department and how small and out of date it was. After renovation all the dispatch will be moved into one big room and the old conference room will home the records clerks.
“Later this year we will have an open house. We plan to be done by the end of this year,” said, Ellis. “One welcomed improvement is more toilets. We previously only had four toilets for staff and two public toilets. Often times staff had to wait in line to go to the restroom. Now we have 16 toilets and two times the square footage for our 46 employees.”
The new interview rooms are virtually soundproof with doors that weigh about 450 pounds. One of the interview rooms is a “soft interview room” used to interview victims, children, or other distraught individuals or witnesses. The soft interview room has furnishing to resemble a living room to include sofas, lamps, and child size chairs to help ease the nerves of those being interviewed.
Police officers have new locker rooms with ample space in their lockers to secure all their gear. Police officers and staff also have cubbies to store items in they would need at their desk.
The media tour also included seeing the new conference room, detective office and briefing room. The new police station has the feel of an “open floor plan” with windows that start in Chief Ellis’ office and can see all the way to the briefing room.
The outside of the police station is surrounded by a perimeter wall for security. They also added a wash rack for the vehicles.