Teams to present police station ideas Monday

We're glad to see the city moving ahead on the police station project. It has been a long time coming; the city's officers' headquarters are much too tight and outdated.

Monday, at a public meeting, the final two project teams will present their qualifications and ideas for the new police station and municipal court building.

The property, which used to be the Naval Reserve Center, is situated near Arena Park.

The final two project teams both include local contractors. Kiefner Brothers Inc., a Cape Girardeau-based company, is pairing with Chiodini Architects of St. Louis, which has experience on police stations in the St. Louis area. Penzel Construction Co. Inc. of Jackson is working with Holland Construction Inc. of Swansea, Illinois, and FGM Architects of O'Fallon, Illinois, for the other design-build team.

Both teams submitted proposals to the city that would come in at less than $11 million.

It's worth noting that we've read and heard many comments questioning the location of the police station. There is a fear that moving the station away from the southern end of town, where crime rates are higher, and toward a more central location will make crime in the southern part of the city worse.

We asked city officials if they believed that to be the case, and they said police don't operate like a fire station. Officers are not stationed like firefighters at buildings ready to pounce at a moment's notice. Instead, officers are constantly patrolling the city. A new location shouldn't affect response times to crime.

The city has several projects going on right now. None is more important than the police station. If you are curious as to what the contractors' plans are for the project and would like to know more, Monday's meeting will be in the city council chambers at 401 Independence St. The meeting starts at 4 p.m.