Police departments settling into new home

By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- While the rain drizzled down on Tuesday afternoon, Niles City Police Department employees were on the last leg of a move that has taken them the better part of a week.
The staff parking lot at the new law enforcement complex at 1600 Silverbrook was filled with cars, some of whom were pulling trailers filled with equipment.
Some city police officers moved equipment and other things that were left to the last minute, into the new complex.
While the move continued throughout the evening, dispatchers at the old police station on Third Street received the last phone calls in the old station, which has been the city police's home since the 1930s.
At the new complex, which will be shared by the Michigan State Police, Niles City and Township police departments, the dispatchers will swim in space compared to what they have been used to.
While some were still moving equipment from the outside into the new complex, some were busy organizing what has been moved in during the week.
Anna Marie Padgett, a records clerk with the Niles City Police Department since 1994, sat at her new desk sorting through files on Tuesday afternoon.
Lt. Mike Stanton, Niles City Police, has been with the city police for 11.5 years.
Stanton, who dropped by the new station with his wife and young child on Tuesday to see how the final leg of the move was going, said four city police officers have been working eight hour shifts the last week to move things from the old station to the new complex.
Stanton also said the officers were assisted by a county prisoner work group, which helped the city police with their move.
That what may have been a homicide happened while the police departments were moving into their new complex, Stanton said, was unfortunate.
He said the case took resources away from the move.
When the dust has settled and the police departments are done with their move, Stanton is looking forward to working in the new complex.
Although things seemed to be going fine on Tuesday afternoon, Stanton said you never know what happens during big moves.
He said if a problem occurred throughout the evening on Tuesday, it could take a long time to fix it.
The new 32,000 square feet complex, which cost $6.5 million, was funded by the state.
It's regarded a pilot project because the police departments will share common spaces within the building.
That has never been done in Michigan before, and other police departments throughout the state and country are interested to see how the project works out.

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