Mount Prospect police calling 911 their new home
When Mount Prospect residents visit the new police headquarters, they will literally be calling on 911.
The police are fully settled in their new headquarters at 911 E. Kensington Road, which went live on Wednesday evening.
The significance wasn't lost on Chief John Koziol.
"The address gods took care of us," he said.
Koziol said the village took good care of the officers, as well, with the new location.
"This place has got nice wide hallways. It is so much better for social distancing," he said.
The renovated warehouse is more roomy at 90,000 square feet, triple the space of the cramped former headquarters location downtown.
The building itself was a little bit late in delivery.
The factories were closed in Michigan, which meant there was a delay in delivering workstation furniture.
But it seems it was worth the wait.
"We were conducting roll calls remotely or in the parking garage, keeping social distancing," Koziol said. Now, "We have spread out the chairs and we can actually have roll call in a roll call room. It seems like a small thing, but that dingy garage that they were standing in at the beginning of their shift just wasn't good."
The new building is confined to one floor, which makes a big difference, especially with parking at grade.
"We had a lot of problems with our old parking facility," Koziol said. "It was actually collapsing and it would leak this acidic liquid from the concrete and it was eating through the paint of our squad cars. There were some places you could actually look through and see the concrete was failing."
Confining operations to one floor also improves morale.
"The beauty of this is we're all on one floor now. I can't tell you how many police officers I run into in this building that I never ran into in the old one."
It is convenient for operations, too.
"Now we have interview rooms right off the lobby. When people come in, they don't have to be brought well into the building," he said.
And the officers actually have a lunchroom.
"It just creates a much more family atmosphere. I see a lot more smiles here now."
The village voted in 2018 to spend $5.1 million on the 103,126-square-foot industrial building at what was then 799 Biermann Court in the Kensington Business Center for the new police headquarters.
The total project cost amounted to nearly $30 million.
Koziol gave credit to the village's Deputy Director of Building and Inspection Services Mark Rysavy, the architect, FGM Architects, and the construction manager, Camosy Construction.
"The building was actually bigger than we needed and we needed parking out front for the public, so they actually tore down the front of the building to make up room for the parking and that's how we got down to the 90,000 (square feet), which is what we needed anyhow.
"For a warehouse this was very well kept," he said.