Nov. 18 is moving day for City, State Police

By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Tuesday, Nov. 18, is the day area police departments will move into their new law enforcement complex at 1600 Silverbrook.
The new complex, which will be Michigan State Police Niles Post 53, the Niles city and township police departments' new home, is located just west of the intersection of Silverbrook and East Main Street.
Chief Ric Huff, Niles City Police Department, said the building was turned over to the State on Tuesday when the main contractor, St. Joseph-based Pearson Construction, signed off on the work they have done.
That means the police departments can start moving things and setting up equipment at the new complex, but personnel will remain at the old stations until Nov. 18, Huff said.
Huff said problems scheduling contractors to sign off on construction work is among the reasons the move has been delayed.
The police departments were scheduled to move in October.
In addition, SBC, the company which will install the complex's phone system, are not available until Nov. 18, he said.
Huff hopes the public won't be affected by the move.
The only foreseeable disruption, he said, is that the Niles City Police Department lobby will be closed for 36 hours while the move is taking place.
The front door of the old station will stay open until the evening of Monday, Nov. 17, and the lobby at the new building will open for foot traffic in the morning on Wednesday, Nov. 19, he said.
People who need to see police in person, however, will have a public access point at the state police station on South 11th Street.
Huff also said Berrien County Sheriff's Department will step in and respond to phone calls the city police dispatch would typically handle.
From a public standpoint, Huff said the new station will be in full operation on Nov. 19.
But he expects it will take a week or so before the departments settle down in their new environment.
The new $6.5 million law enforcement complex is 32,000 square feet.
The complex is a pilot project funded by the state and is unique because the police departments will not just share the building, but also share several of the building's rooms.
Although the project is funded by the state, the police departments will have to bear much of the building maintenance costs. Niles City's share of that cost is 61 percent.
Work on the building started early summer of 2002.

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