The Sioux Falls Police Department is looking at a new way of sending its officers out on calls. In the future, some officers may start their shift at so-called report-to work stations, instead of the current Law Enforcement Center.
Mayor Paul TenHaken is quick to emphasize that these report-to-work” stations are not police precincts, which he opposed in the mayoral race earlier this year. Instead, officers would report to an office at a busy area of the city and receive their daily briefing before heading off on their beat.
Police say a report-to-work station on the outer edges of the city would take some of the strain off the downtown Law Enforcement Center.
“It takes pressure off the current law enforcement space, that’s locker rooms, that’s parking lot space, that’s just all the work areas of the building, but also gives you a presence in another area of the city where you have a higher call volume,” Sioux Falls Police Chief Matt Burns said.
A report-to-work station would most likely be a room located inside a fire station where they could also store evidence. An evidence drop-off is already located at Fire Station Four on West 69th Street. Mayor Paul TenHaken says these report-to-work stations are vastly different from a police precinct, which would be a fully-staffed, stand-alone building.
“Report to work location, a place where you show up, you get your briefing instructions, you get into your car and you go. A precinct is basically another version of a our public safety center. You’ve got a command staff, you’re got a front-office staff, you have a lot more infrastructure,” Mayor Paul Ten Haken said.
The idea of report to work stations didn’t spring from the mayoral race. A consulting firm had been studying if these stations would work in Sioux Falls since last year. The consultants reported their findings earlier this spring.
“All the time, we’re looking several years in advance of what the needs of the police department are going to be in a growing city, trying to put the resources we have and point them where the needs are greatest,” Burns said.
Police are looking at located its first report-to-work station in one of the fastest-growing areas of Sioux Falls, the southwest part of the city.
Burns says the report-to-work station is about a year-and-a-half to two years away. Another future location would be in southeast Sioux Falls.