Moscow Police Department ditches creamery building for new digs that will 'get help to people who need it faster'

<p><p>The Moscow Police Department, crammed into a facility that originally operated as a creamery nearly a century ago, is moving into new headquarters on the south side of town.</p></p><p><p>No longer will residents have to drive around looking for parking spaces, suspects won’t be traipsed down a long, busy hallway to be interviewed, and female officers can change into uniform in a regular locker room, not a converted closet.</p></p><p><p>“We couldn’t be more ready to make this move,” Moscow police Chief James Fry said.</p></p><p><p>Staff will begin operating in the new, two-story, 15,300-square-foot headquarters off U.S. Highway 95 on Monday, he said. The facility’s location and how it’s designed will enable the force to be more transparent and responsive.</p></p><p><p>The visitor-friendly lobby will accommodate more interactions between police and the public, Fry explained. Also, a spacious police training room will be used to host nearly 50 participants during citizen’s academy sessions, where residents learn the inner workings of the department – double the number that could fit in the old building’s room.</p></p><p><p>“The new facility is welcoming, more accessible to the public and much easier for our officers to egress during emergencies,” he said.</p></p><p><p>The old police headquarters, constructed as Korter’s Creamery that sold bottled milk in the 1930s and ‘40s, is located on a dead-end street that’s only accessible by a busy one-way street or a narrow alley.</p></p><p><p>Fry recalled when he tried to respond to a vehicle accident but a parked delivery truck blocked his car from exiting through the alley.</p></p><p><p>“I had to put my car in reverse and back all the way out. On top of that, the street was backed up with rush-hour traffic, he said. “Times like that, our location hindered our emergency response time. With our new location, we’ll be quicker to respond.”</p></p><p><p>Which is crucial, because when it comes to responding to 911 calls, “minutes matter, seconds matter,” said Patrol officer McKenzie Fosberg, who has served on the department for seven years.</p></p><p><p>“If we can get places faster, we can get help to people who need it faster,” she said.</p></p><p><p>In May 2019, Moscow voters approved a 10-year, $9.64 million general obligation bond to fund construction of the new building, an act that reflects community support of the department, Fosberg said.</p></p><p><p>“We’re really grateful,” she said.</p></p><p><p>The new space – with a grid of large windows to provide natural light, ample parking for the public and police cars alike, and a centralized, temperature-controlled evidence room – is well-suited to meet the needs of a growing, evolving department and the residents it serves, Fry said.</p></p><p><p>It will be headquarters to nine support staff, 37 officers and even a new canine officer.</p></p><p><p>Come April, Fry said, a narcotics detection dog will join the Moscow police force.</p></p><p><p>“It’s the first time in the department’s history that we’ve ever had a dog,” Fry said.</p></p>