KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For the first time, the Kansas City (Mo.) Police Department will have an operational building in Platte County.
Officials and hundreds of guests gathered for an official opening ceremony Friday, June 23 at the new North Patrol Division headquarters, located on former Kansas City Aviation Department land near KCI Airport. Nearly two years after breaking ground on the site, the nearly 100 employees officially moved out of the old headquarters and into the new one.
The completion of the $9.5 million project resulted in a celebration for what speakers described as a much-needed update.
“This is obviously a momentous occasion for Platte County, for the second district and for Kansas City as a whole,” Kansas City councilman Dan Fowler said.
The new North Patrol headquarters replaces the infamous “bumblebee station,” located in western Clay County at the intersection of Barry Road and U.S. Highway 169. The building drew its name from its distinctive yellow and black striped exterior paint.
The old headquarters opened in 1976 with 15 employees, and aside from being out of compliance with ADA regulations, the building has numerous structural deficiencies, sewer problems, inadequate parking and an unusable detention area. The North Patrol, which covers 85 square miles, had outgrown the facility.
Officials on hand lauded the new facilities while paying respect to those who served in the old.
“I actually did two tours there at the ‘bumblebee,’” Kansas City Police Department interim chief David Zimmerman joked before explaining how the upgrades would help officers better serve the community.
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, East and South patrol divisions, as well as the police academy, a crime lab, headquarters renovation and special operations and traffic divisions’ facilities.
“The North Patrol Division station that we are all about to tour is the visible expression of the synergy and the relationship between our community and the Kansas City, Mo. Police Department,” said Kansas City councilman and mayor pro tem Scott Wagner. “It exemplifies what we can accomplish when we all work together.”
The upgrades in the North Patrol headquarters involves the addition of community space and specialty areas for officers. The building is more than 25,000 square feet, an increase of more than 11,000 from the old home.
Following last week’s opening ceremony, guests were able to tour the new facility and enjoy refreshments.
“We want citizens to feel that this new station is part of their community,” Kansas City councilwoman Teresa Loar said. “The station is more than a place to report crime. It is a place for citizens and KCPD employees to come together to gain mutual understanding, strengthen the community and foster positive relationships.”
The City of Kansas City remains in ownership of the “bumblebee station” and has it up for sale.