Facing cramped quarters in its municipal complex, the town of Whitestown is preparing to build a new police station.
The Boone County community joins a list of northern suburbs in the Indy area that have had to finance new stations to accommodate growth within their departments due to booming populations.
Construction of a $10 million police headquarters in Fishers is nearing completion, and Noblesville is planning to build a new facility.
Whitestown plans to borrow $7 million through a bond issue to finance the new station (click on rendering at right for larger view), a few small upgrades at the municipal complex and the purchase of a new fire truck.
Currently, the police department’s 24 staff members share five offices in the municipal complex, but they’ve outgrown the space, said Police Chief Dennis Anderson.
With plans to add at least two new officers to the roster this year, the town made the call to build a larger facility.
“We’re basically busting at the seams,” he said.
Whitestown is a boomtown, ranking as the state’s fastest-growing community for the past seven years. According to a special census by the U.S. Census Bureau, the town’s population swelled from 2,867 in 2010 to 7,814 in November 2016.
Current plans, which have not been finalized, call for a two-story building between 15,000 and 20,000 square feet. The first story would receive interior finishes immediately, with plans to build out the second floor as need arises, he said.
The standalone facility would include space for a detective division, a computer forensic lab, a training room and fitness facilities, as well as a holding cell, the chief said.
Right now, when the entire department meets for training, it has to use the town’s public meeting room or gymnasium, Anderson said. And there’s nowhere for the town to hold traffic court.
The new facility would provide room for both.
“There’s a huge need for it,” he said.
He hopes the department can move into its new space by the fall of 2020, he said.
Meanwhile, Fishers’ police department has plans to move into its new space in September.
The three-story building will be about 48,000 square feet.
The current police headquarters, which was built in 1993 when the city had 30 officers, is 24,000 square feet. Today, Fishers has more than 130 police officers, Sgt. Tom Weger told IBJ.
Currently, the department has to rent storage and office space to accommodate its needs.
“The new building will allow us to have everything under one roof,” Weger said.
In addition to the new station, Fishers is also building a parking garage that will be adjacent to the new facility. Together, the projects are expected to cost about $16 million.