New police department opens doors in Benton
Mar 17, 2017 2:01 PM - Benton officials will cut the ribbon on the city's new police department Monday morning. The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m., March 20 at the new facility located at 503 W. Washington St. In a prepared release, Mayor Fred Kondritz touted it as a step forward for safety in Benton. "This PD is a step into the future for the city," Kondritz said. "I think this is a proactive way to address safety and productivity for our police department." City leaders approved the construction of the new police department in July 2016 following the decision to relocate Benton City Hall from its previous location on West Main Street, which it shared with the police department, to an alternate facility at the city's southern limits. That decision came after officials determined it would cost $1.8 million in renovations to bring the former city hall up to code. Instead, they opted to spend a reported $550,000 on the building that now houses city hall and make a separate expenditure for a new police facility. The new police department measurea about 3,400 square feet and was built by Curt Erwin Construction. Previous cost estimates stood at about $375,000. Police Chief Kyle Melvin said the new facility comes with a number of upgrades. "The new state-of-the-art police station is a wonderful asset to the department and the community," Melvin said in prepared comments. "The new facility is equipped with the latest technology for safety and the ability to perform everything from normal patrol duties to the police department's advanced cyber-crime unit. To name a few features, the new facility now has adequate room for a reception area, multiple interview rooms, multiple work stations for officers/investigators to conduct business and a conference room for department training and meetings. We look forward to showing everyone the new facility and thanking them for the investment they've made in the safety of the city of Benton." The public is invited to the ceremony.