An inside look at Le Mars long-awaited new police station
After purchasing the old Total Motors building 18 months ago and beginning construction in March, Le Mars 's new police station is now open for business.
Le Mars Chief of Police Kevin Vande Vegte says, "The old building we were very cramped and it was never created as a police station, we were just kind of put into a building and it never did function very well."
Now the department has a new, highly functional facility.
He says, "We have a modern police department. The building itself, even though it was renovated, it was designed by an architect. We have a very modern and efficient work flow for the building. We have everything we feel we need."
That includes a modern evidence collection area, forensics laboratory, property room, lab for testing drugs, finger printing and crime scene investigations, a large garage for patrol cars and a new animal control area.
These new features are a major upgrade from the former station.
Vande Vegte says, "We did all of our work at an officer's desk and those officer's shared desks. We had five desks that were basically shared by about 12 officers."
The new building has 16 cameras placed inside and outside meaning the staff is constantly under surveillance.
One unique element of the station, is the blue line that runs along the hallway.
"What we wanted to do was have a reminder each and every day that we walk the halls in the new police station that we are the ones that stand between the good in the world and the bad in the world and the blue line in law enforcement represents that. It's our duty and our responsibility to stand in that blue line between good and bad or order and chaos."
In total, there are 16 employees, 14 of which are police officers who all have their own work station.
Vande Vegte says the people who have toured the building, couldn't believe it used to be an old car dealership.