KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Burt’s Bees lip balm looked a little out of place on a warm morning, but the symbolism stood out.The Kansas City (Mo.) Police Department held a groundbreaking for its North Partrol headquarters while also wishing “Bon Voyage to the Bee” on Friday, July 15. This marked a ceremonial step toward the construction of the new facility on NW Prairie View Road near KCI Airport, officially numbering the days of the division’s current home in Clay County — affectionately known as the “bumblebee station” due to its yellow and black striped paint job.
“Some of us will miss the bumblebee station,” Kansas City city councilman Ed Ford said in addressing a large crowd of law enforcement personnel, government officials and media members. “But we absolutely need a Kansas City police station in Platte County.”
Officials project the completion of the new 25,000-square-foot headquarters in the spring of 2017.
This represents huge progress for a division with 90 employees. The original structure, right off Highway 169 at 1001 NW Barry Road, opened in 1976 with 15 employees. Currently, the old building has numerous structural deficiencies, sewer problems, inadequate parking and an unusable detention area.
The patrol covers an area of 85 square miles, the largest for Kansas City police, and the new headquarters would be a first for Platte County. The station will be located on land already owned by the Kansas City Aviation Department.
“This would not have happened without the leadership of several city officials,” Ford said, “because frankly we didn’t have the money to buy land and build the station.”
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 new station will be situated in Platte County where residential growth is expected soon. Officials, including Kansas City police chief Darryl Forte, noted that the building is designed with expansion in mind when more of the Twin Creeks area is built out with a projected 75,000-plus new residents.
City officials have not yet determined what will happen to the “bumblebee” structure moving forward.