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Colo. PD breaks ground on its first station

“This is the first police building in the 104-year history of Severance,” Police Chief Ken Chavez said. “I hope you take pride in it”

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“As the council was deliberating and debating on whether or not we needed a new police services building, one of the main arguments was that we’re going to see a brand new, really nice looking building with very important services happening inside,” Fries said. “And we hope that inspires others to do the same in the private sector to help continue to build and revitalize our downtown.”

Severance Police Department via Facebook

By Chris Bolin
Greeley Tribune, Colo.

SEVERANCE, Colo. — For 98 years, the town of Severance operated without a police department until its creation in 2018.

Now, after about six years of operating out of Town Hall, then the old Windsor Severance Fire Rescue building — and now Town Hall again after demolishing the fire building earlier this month — the department broke ground Monday on a station of its very own.

“I’m extremely, extremely proud of this,” Police Chief Ken Chavez said. “Today is a very important milestone, and I’m very proud to be here when it’s happening.”

The new station — which will be 4,000 square feet and carry a price tag of just over $3 million — is expected to be completed by Dec. 2. Unlike the building the department has been in for the past handful of years, the new station will include holding cells, interview rooms and a main lobby that will be open to the public.

“This is hopefully a message to our community that we are committed to keeping our residents safe and we’re committed to keeping our businesses safe,” Mayor Matt Fries said.

Town Manager Nick Wharton said the concept for the station originally surfaced in 2021. The town secured the funding for the project in 2022, and the design — tackled by Windsor’s Infusion Architects — began last year.

“This is the first police building in the 104-year history of Severance,” Chavez said. “I hope you take pride in it. I hope you come by from time to time to check on its progress. And in December, I hope we’re back here again opening it up and giving everybody a full tour.”

Along with giving the department the tools and resources it needs, Fries hopes the new building will help attract more officers to the department.

Severance police — like many departments — have dealt with staffing issues, recently reassigning the town’s school resource officers to patrol duty. Chavez said Monday he hopes to have them back in schools by September.

“What happens in police services in my opinion, doesn’t have an awful lot to do with the facility itself. It’s the people, the officers, the leadership and the community that will partner together to make sure we have a safe place to live,” Fries said. “However, the necessity in my opinion for a new facility is because the officers and the leadership that work there deserve it. As well as to continue to attract quality men and women that would like to be police officers in our community.”

Fries also hopes the new station — along with the new public works building next door — will incentivize more businesses to make downtown Severance their home.

“As the council was deliberating and debating on whether or not we needed a new police services building, one of the main arguments was that we’re going to see a brand new, really nice looking building with very important services happening inside,” Fries said. “And we hope that inspires others to do the same in the private sector to help continue to build and revitalize our downtown.”

But more than anything, Fries said it signifies the town is moving in the right direction, keeping up with the growth of northern Colorado and doing everything it can to provide vital services for the community.

“Congratulations, Severance,” Fries said. “Little by little, we are getting there.”

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(c)2024 the Greeley Tribune (Greeley, Colo.)
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