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Ind. police department unveils new police station

The new station provides officers with the resources and infrastructure they need to work, Logansport Mayor Chris Martin said

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Facebook/Logansport Police Department

By Hallie Gallinat

LOGANSPORT, Ind. — First announced in 2021, the Logansport Police Department has officially moved into its new home at 729 High St.

What was once the Longfellow Elementary School and a juvenile detention center is now a spacious building for the police department. To celebrate the opening of the new building, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Friday morning and featured speeches from Logansport Chief of Police Travis Yike, Mayor Chris Martin and project manager of Steinberger Construction Incorporated Chris Frey.

Longfellow Elementary was built in 1938 and was turned into a juvenile facility center in the 1990s. The police department acquired the southwest corner of the Logansport City Building in 1925, and had been based there since then.

“Almost 100 years later, we’re going to be moving into this building behind me. We’ve lived out of small spaces, several buildings in the community,” Yike said in his speech. “We’ve moved several different times into other buildings. We found storage areas, we built some new walls and we tore down some old walls inside the city building along the way.”

Yike said he was not the first chief to try and accomplish a new building, but he said they were able to accomplish it. Yike also gave thanks to several members of the community and local businesses, as well as to the citizens of Logansport.

Martin said one of his top priorities has always been to create an environment where residents can thrive without fear, and a strong and efficient police force is essential in that goal. This new station takes a step forward in providing officers of the city with the resources and infrastructure they need to work, he said.

“It reaffirms our city’s unwavering commitment to maintaining the highest standards of public safety, and fostering a strong, trusting partnership between law enforcement and our residents,” Martin said in his speech. “I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to all those who have contributed to the realization of this project.”

Frey said she is proud to say that the company, with all the help involved, was able to bring the project into occupancy three months early with no change orders to the original contract.

“Looking back, a year ago today, we were standing inside trying to get through the maze of pipes and conduits and ductwork and figuring out how to demolish 14 inch cell walls, looking at each other, thinking, ‘what in the world has our offices gotten us into?’ And yet, we stand here today and can be proud of the building that’s behind us,” Frey said.

Frey said in her speech that there was some skepticism that they could turn the former school and detention center building into one that would look like an operable police office. However, she said through the vision of KJG Architecture and their abilities, she thinks they were able to accomplish that. Concluding her speech, on behalf of Steinberger and KJG Architecture, Frey presented Yike and the police department keys to a new police buggy.

After the ceremony, attendees were invited to walk around and tour the new building. The public toured several offices, a gymnasium, conference and interview rooms, kitchenettes and more. Members of the police department were also around the facility to answer questions. Glass cases, full of police memorabilia from throughout the years, were also on display around the building.

Molly Graybeal, who was hired as a designer by the police department and Steinberger, said many pieces of artwork and police memorabilia had been in storage at the old police station.

“So, it’s really great for them to have this building where they have the space to not only show like the class portraits for the officers for each year, but also, you know, their old uniforms, different things like that,” Graybeal said during the tour. “It’s like the first time probably in maybe 70, 75 years that any of it’s been showcased.”

The LPD previously worked out of several floors inside the city building, along with another building on the east end of Logansport and storage in the EMA building. That is all now combined into this one building, Yike said, and it will benefit the police officers as he said their previous location was not conducted to their job.

“We [had] a lot of small areas, so if we have to do private interviews or we have families that come in there, it’s typically all in our work areas and a lot of that... we want to separate those things,” Yike said. “We [didn’t] have a lobby for the public to come into. We do a lot of tours, say for like the YMCA that the youth groups there or the schools’ youth groups. So, now we have a place where people can come in and... children can come in. We do Shop with a Cop, those type of things, so we have areas now that we can host and bring through, and especially with our youth in the community, we can bring them through and show them, you know, a police department. I know the fire department does those type of things for the youth in our community as well. So, now it... feels pretty good that we can do those things as well and get back to the community in that sense.”

NEXT: Current trends in new station construction and renovation projects

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