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Columbia City Council asks staff to design new police precinct

Columbia city staff will begin design on a new police precinct in the north part of the city.

The Columbia City Council unanimously approved the measure, which involves Columbia Public Works and the police department bringing forward designs for a station at International Drive and Rangeline Street. Staff estimates construction of the building to cost more than $7 million.

The city council previously approved the purchase of land and hiring an architecture firm to help design the building, bringing the total estimated bill for the project to $9.6 million.

Deputy Chief Jill Schlude said on Monday night that the precinct will serve almost like a full-service police station. The department does not plan on having holding cells there, but Schlude said officers that serve the north side of town will report directly to the new precinct.

“They wil be able to drop evidence there, they will be able to do an interview there,” Schlude said. “Which is going to be a huge change for us, but I think it will positively impact response times.”

The building will also come with a community room that the public may reserve for various events. The city is still taking input on the rules and specific uses for that room when the department isn’t conducting training there.

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