FRUITA, Colo. (KKCO) - An area police department is finally wrapping up a big expansion and renovation project. As the department gets ready to move in, the chief says the new walls are something long overdue.
The expansion for the Fruita Police Department broke ground just about a year ago this week, and after years of planning and staff being cramped up in the old building, the $1.5 million renovation is ready.
"This is a great facility, this ended up being everything I dreamed of and then some, and it is also a huge advantage to our community members," Fruita police chief Mark Angelo said.
After 30 years stationed in an old undersized bank, the Fruita Police force will now operate from a new up-to-date building that's more than doubled the size of the old one, and they got it for a good deal.
"We could get almost twice the square footage if we remodeled and expanded our existing facility, compared to building a new building, so we definitely feel like we got a bang for our buck and so did the city of Fruita," city spokesperson Ken Haley said.
With all that extra leg room, the chief says it opens up lots of opportunity to add more badges and develop the department.
"We plan on this building to at least last for another 10 years. By creating extra rooms, extra space, work stations. they may not be used right now but as the city grows and the agency grows, we have room to grow in to," Angelo said.
The new space comes with upgraded technology and equipment the department didn't have before, including a larger evidence room and more security.
"We have cameras stationed in the building, and it's wired for the future for cameras in the parking lot, so we can monitor with the security system with limited access in the building that we didn't have before," Angelo added.
An open house is planned for the public next month. Staff will show off the upgrades in their new digs.
Fruita police officials looked at three other possible locations, but in the end, decided to stay with the current location off Mesa Street.