City plans for new police station

The Siloam Springs Police Department is about to get a major upgrade. The city of Siloam Springs is planning to build a brand-new police headquarters on U.S. Highway 412. Currently, the city is reviewing bids for the contract to build the new station. Construction is expected to start later this spring and finish by the end of this summer.

The current police station is located in downtown Siloam Springs on Broadway Street, just north of the City Administration building. The current building is a former schoolhouse and a former site of City Hall. The Police Department shares the building with a district courthouse.

According to police Capt. Geoff Lewis, the Police Department has outgrown it.

The police station regularly has roof leaks, only has one broom-closet-sized interrogation room, and was not built to handle large servers and radio equipment. According to Lewis, the department has to be careful to make sure its electronic equipment, housed in poorly ventilated closets, doesn’t overheat.

Of all the new features the new facilities will afford, Lewis said the biggest will be space.

“It won’t change how we operate, but it‘s going to increase our abilities through the use of multiple interview rooms and adequately ventilated radio and server rooms,” said Lewis. “It’s going to give us much needed space.”

Even though construction on the new building hasn’t started yet, the property has already had an impact on municipal operations. The property formerly housed a drug store with gas pumps. The city is now able to buy and store its own gasoline, instead of contacting a local gas station for fuel. According to Lewis, this has already cut the hassle and cost of refueling police and emergency vehicles.

The new location will give the police force a more visible presence, as well as removing their fleet from the traffic of downtown.

“The town’s getting bigger, so they need a bigger headquarters.” said Michael Kelley, freshman and Siloam Springs native. “It’s pretty great, because I’ve lived by the [current] police station my whole life and it’ll be nice to get the cop cars away from my house. I see them all the time and it’s kind of annoying.”