Renovations due for Newton police

WICHITA, Kansas – Police in Newton are in a bit of a bind trying to make use of their space.

The station hasn’t been renovated since the in more than a decade and as the police force grows, they need more space to do their job efficiently.

While the building doesn’t look like it needs much renovation from the outside, the inside tells a different story.

“It’s become painfully obvious for us that we have to start looking at renovations of this facility,” said Chief Jim Daily.

While there are some obvious issues throughout the department, it’s not just a matter of aesthetics and space for police to work.

“We currently have an evidence area that is overfilled with things to the point where we need an expansion,” said Daily.

Police gave city officials a tour of their quarters and even they were caught off guard.

“They have so many things stacked up on top of each other,” said Mayor Leroy Koehn, “they are in such tight quarters that i can’t imagine working in that environment and being good at what you do and being able to go out and take care of the citizens of Newton effectively.

While there’s no question that police are doing their job, officials agree that it’s time for a change.

And now, they have a price tag for the work — anywhere from $750,000 to $1 million — to move things around, creating space, but even with those, it still isn’t a long term answer.

“Obviously a remodel of this type is not going to be the 25 year fix-all that we’re looking for,” Daily continued, “but it will help us through the growth periods that we’re looking at.”

City officials are hoping to move forward with the work, but there are still questions that have to be answered since the building is owned by the county, so it could be awhile before the work can actually begin.

“I’m guessing it’s still 6 months away before we can get to that point of working out the final details so that we can put it in perhaps the 2016 budget,” said Koehn.

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