The Public Safety Sales Tax Working for You
On Nov. 2, 2010, Kansas City voters approved the renewal of the quarter-cent Public Safety Sales Tax, which was an existing tax first approved by voters in 2002. This renewal means that the City can complete worthwhile capital improvements, including providing modern facilities and more tools to investigate crime for police officers. Two of the main features are:
- A replacement for the current East Patrol Division Station
- A new Crime Lab
Multiple Police Facilities on One Campus
A decision was made very early on to combine the new East Patrol Division Station and the new Crime Lab on the same campus. By building both facilities at once, the Police Department is leveraging the economies of scale. This same plan has been followed at the North Campus (the Police Academy and the Shoal Creek Patrol Division Station) and the South Campus (Special Operations Division and the South Patrol Division Station.)
The two facilities will be able to share common space and functions by locating multiple police facilities on one campus. Savings may occur in the following cost areas:
- Site preparation
- Road Improvements
- Shared power plant
- Shared common spaces (parking, weight room, lockers, etc.)
The centralized location of East Patrol Division makes it an optimal site for the Crime Lab. Proximity of this location to the courts, evidence warehouse, and the Vehicle Processing Facility would maximize the efficiency of Crime Lab personnel. There is also a security benefit to having the Crime Lab located near a major law enforcement facility.
With all of this in mind, the site for the East Campus needed to be a location that serves the needs of both the East Patrol Division Station and the Crime Lab, as well as a location large enough to accommodate all of the facilities planned to be built there.
Site Selection Process for the Leon Mercer Jordan East Patrol Campus
The City of Kansas City, Missouri underwent a site analysis and site selection process to determine where the new East Patrol Division Station and new Crime Lab Campus would be constructed. The site analysis and selection was a collaborative effort under the leadership of the City’s Capital Projects Department, the City Manager’s Office, the 3rd District City Council Members, and Mayor Sly James, with the Kansas City Police Department in an advisory capacity.
In May 2011, citizens and neighborhood/community groups were invited to recommend sites for the future East Patrol Division Station and Crime Lab Campus, and a large number of recommendations were received by web-form, e-mail, traditional mail, and by telephone. Every suggested site was evaluated as a possible location for the Leon Mercer Jordan East Patrol Campus.
The 25 most viable locations of all those suggested were analyzed by the City’s Capital Projects Department, the Kansas City Police Department, the City Manager’s Office, the Third District City Council Members, and Mayor James. After much consideration, the new site for the new campus was chosen: the site boundaries for the new facilities are between 26th Street on the North, 27th Street on the South, Brooklyn Avenue on the West, and Prospect Avenue on the East. Of the 25 sites evaluated, this site was the only one that met all seven of the key evaluation factors used during the evaluation process. Read more about the site selection process.
The Key Factors Used to Evaluate the Site Suggestions
The following were the main factors used evaluate the 25 most viable locations suggested during the selection process:
- Cost of the land and cost of construction on the site
- Size and shape of the site (need for 12 to 15 acres, or more)
- Ease of vehicle and pedestrian public access to the site
- Visibility of surrounding area for security purposes
- Possible environmental hazards or contamination
- Sufficient distance from railroad tracks and major highways (need to protect Crime Lab from ground vibrations)
- The opportunity to serve as a redevelopment anchor and stabilizing influence for the surrounding area
Advantages of the Selected Location
The following map shows the proximity of selected site at 27th and Prospect to the areas KCPD normally receives the most Calls for Service. While officers are dispatched directly from the field and not from the station, the close proximity of the new East Patrol Division Station to the vast majority of the Calls for Service KCPD receives has a definite benefit. The location of the East Patrol Division Station also ensures a frequent police presence in areas most affected by crime. See this Calls for Service map as well as a map of Arrests.
The selected location also provides officers with quick access to major throughways that intersect East Patrol Division. Prospect Avenue gives easy access to major east/west streets and major highways.
For the purposes of the Crime Lab, the selected location at 27th and Prospect gives Crime Lab personnel immediate access to 71 Highway, and thus the entire City of Kansas City. The location, with its close proximity to the courts and the Vehicle Processing Facility, serves to maximize the efficiency of Crime Lab personnel. Current plans to relocate KCPD Evidence Storage Facilities to the East Campus will create an efficient connection between the Crime Lab and Evidence Storage functions.
An Investment in the Third District of Kansas City, Missouri
The new campus project is a unique opportunity for the Third District. The centralized location in the urban core serves as a redevelopment anchor and stabilizing influence for Prospect Avenue and the surrounding neighborhoods.
There will be construction workers in the area for the two years the project is underway, and the City of Kansas City, Missouri, is working with HUD to be sure low-income residents and businesses benefit. The project is being leveraged to spark training and employment opportunities for low-income workers, and the project is governed by Federal HUD Section 3 guidelines. The Leon Mercer Jordan Campus project team is also working with city officials and neighborhood leaders to identify opportunities for development and improvements in the area surrounding the Leon Mercer Jordan East Patrol Campus. See a map of the capital improvements the City of Kansas City has made in the 3rd District over the last decade.
Aggressive efforts are being made to ensure that the Leon Mercer Jordan Campus project will have a concrete positive effect on the neighborhoods it serves, as well as the City of Kansas City, Missouri as a whole. See more information on jobs, training, and Section 3.