Benson police settling into new headquarters

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Benson’s new police station is in the southwest corner of the city. It provides the security lacking in the old offices in the basement of city hall.

Benson’s Police Department is now operating out of its new headquarters at the corner of Hall Avenue and 22nd Street South in the far southwestern corner of the city.

The new facility is in the renovated former Loen Electric building. A 1,755 square foot addition was built onto the 3,602 square foot building bringing its total size to 5,357 square feet.

Loen’s building was purchased for $199,500 with at least another $661,000 spent on the renovation. There was also a $45,850 architect’s fee. The total cost, at this point, is $907,250. That price does not include furniture, the security system, phones, and the cost of several change orders as work was underway. City council members were expecting a total cost of under $500,000 when they started looking at the new police station.

With crime never taking a break, and December one of the busiest months of 2017 for the department, the move into the new station is a work in progress.

Stepping into the entry of the new police station a visitor is immediately aware of how much more secure the facility is than the old office in the basement of the Benson City Hall. In the old office, you could walk down the stairs into the basement and be in the heart of the police station without any barriers or a person to challenge you.

Now you come up to a doorway that enters into a small, simple foyer with concrete block walls and bulletproof glass that looks into the dispatch area. A keycard is required to gain access to inner offices or someone has to buzz you through....

 

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Pictured: Benson’s new police station is in the southwest corner of the city. It provides the security lacking in the old offices in the basement of city hall. It is also an healthier environment - the old offices had mold growing in the walls. However, the price tag at over $900,000 is considerably higher than the council had expected.

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