Construction begins on new KCPD crime lab in east Kansas City
KANSAS CITY, MO – On Tuesday, shovels were put in the ground by the Kansas City officials for the constructing of a new crime lab and patrol station.
At 10 a.m. on the East Campus construction site on Wabash Avenue, between 26th and 27th streets, a groundbreaking ceremony was held by the City leaders. The place where old homes were several years back is now a place for a new East Patrol Police Station and Crime Lab Campus.
According to the police officers, their old station and crime lab was not so big and it was old but by the fall of 2015, the space will become the new police campus for the east side.
Kansas City, MO, Mayor Sly James said, “I want the residents to see we are on the same page. We’re concerned about safety, we’re concerned about police presence where we want one and need one”.
Houses in four blocks from 26th Street and Prospect Avenue to Brooklyn Avenue were knocked down to construct a room for the new police campus.
Jermaine Reed, Council member for the 3rd district said, “I give my sincere appreciation to each of the families who have made the ultimate sacrifice”. He also said that the residents will be able to benefit from the construction project and jobs thereafter.
The city purchased properties from individuals who owned them but not every person was willing to sell their property. Even though Armeena Powell’s home is now gone, she is still fighting in court with the city because Powell’s didn’t want to sell the property. Powell said, “They’re saying that we sacrificed for this project, in fact we were sacrificed”.
Board of Police Commissioner President Alvin Brooks said that the blighted community required the new 17 acre development. He said, “Our progress for the total community is what’s important”.
Former resident G.G. Owens said, “I was sad to see the whole four blocks go down because I grew up here and I know a lot of the families who were displaced, but I’m pretty sure we have to look at everybody moving to a better place”.
A resident Dee Austin said, “Stand on your word! That’s what we want. Get people that’s living in this community involved. Not people from surrounding areas, but people right here that’s directly affected”.
City officials said in July that the original amount of money greatly underestimated costs for land purchasing, design, furnishings and equipment. The budget rose to $74 million that made city leaders to consider a smaller version of the crime lab than the lab that was originally proposed.
According to the Crime lab director Linda Netzel, the current crime lab is accumulated with cases. “We don’t work cases first in, first out. What we have to address is the level of violence of a particular crime and whether or not the suspect is known or unknown”. He said that they had almost 2,000 fingerprint cases and 500 DNA cases waiting for analysis. Hopefully, the new crime lab will decrease the number of cases waiting to be processed.
News Source: www.KCTV5.com