The Kansas City (Mo.) Police Department plans to bring its new North Patrol Division Headquarters to Platte County.
The new building will replace the iconic “Bumblebee” station located along U.S. Highway 169 off of Barry Road in Clay County. The proposed new location will be located to the south of the 112th Street exit on the west side of Interstate 29 at the intersection of NW Prairie View and Vienna roads.
Construction is slated to begin this fall and last about a year and a half.
According to a police newsletter, the new location offers multiple points of access with little worry of traffic congestion, and some Kansas City City Council members pushed for it to be in Platte County. The land is part of Kansas City International Airport and therefore already owned by the city, minimizing cost.
The land is currently farmed with Kansas City Fire Station No. 16 and the TWA Overhaul Base located nearby.
The new North Patrol station is the last project to be funded by the Public Safety Sales Tax that voters renewed in 2010. That tax has paid for new stations in Shoal Creek, Metro and South patrol divisions, as well as the Police Academy, Headquarters renovation and Special Operations and Traffic divisions’ facilities.
The new East Patrol Division and Crime Lab are under construction.
The current black-and-yellow North Patrol building was constructed in 1976 when 15 officers worked there. There are now 95 officers and non-sworn staff.
According to the newsletter, the building contains many structural deficiencies. The flooring is at the end of its life and lighting is poor. There’s no community meeting space, and the detention facilities are very far away from the desk sergeant and law enforcement employees in addition to not being compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Parking has also become a major concern for both officers and residents. North Patrol is the only police station in Kansas City in which officers and station visitors park in the same lot.
North Patrol Maj. Roger Lewis said he’s heard from a few residents who are worried that the station will be moving farther northwest.
“My answer is that I wouldn’t expect response time to increase because we work from the street,” he said. “We don’t dispatch from the station.”
Lewis also noted that the new station will be situated in the place where the city is growing. A 15,000-acre area called Twin Creeks located to the east of KCI Airport is in the beginning phases of development and is expected to grow the population of Platte County and Kansas City, Mo., by 75,000 people in 20 years, according to the Platte County Economic Development Council.
Other members of the public have expressed concern about the “Bumblebee’s” fate, citing it as an iconic building. City officials have not yet determined what will happen to the structure.