STL Police set to open new headquarters

ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - The City of St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department will soon celebrate the opening of its new downtown headquarters.

SLMPD is moving from its old building on the intersection of Clark Avenue and Tucker Boulevard to 1915 Olive Street. SLMPD's current home was built in 1927.

The new nine-story building used to house the offices of A.G. Edwards. It is a 143,000 square foot property that has 350 parking spaces.

"It's a huge opportunity, not only for the department, but for the city of St. Louis," SLMPD Police Chief Sam Dotson said.

The building also has a state of the art latent print lab, a new interview room and holding facilities. Dotson told NewsChannel 5 that the building also has half-of-a-floor that has yet to be developed. He said one day the department could use the space to create a real-time intelligence center.

"We looked around the country for best practices when we designed this building," he said.

The new headquarters also has a memorial wall in its front lobby that shows the names and faces of the 164 police officers who have passed away while in the line of duty. In the old headquarters, the memorial wall was on the fifth floor out of public view.

SLMPD bought its new headquarters in 2011 from Wells Fargo. Dotson said the bank originally had the property on the market for around $10 million, but the department was able to negotiate the purchasing price to about $2.7 million.

SLMPD then used $2.7 million worth of asset forfeiture money to buy the building.

"That's the money that was seized from criminals because of criminal enterprises," Dotson said.

After that, the department received donations and previous bonds to pay for the $10 million worth of renovations that were needed in the building. Dotson said no general fund revenue was tied to the project.

SLMPD will hold several events Saturday to commemorate its new headquarters. At 10 a.m., the department will march from its old headquarters to the new building. Then at 11 a.m., the city will hold a "crime scene" tape cutting at the site of the new headquarters. NewsChannel 5's Mike Bush will be the Master of Ceremonies. Finally, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the public will be allowed to tour the building.

In the end, Dotson said it will take a little more than two weeks to move all remaining items from the old headquarters into the new one. He said some out-of-town investors have already been inside of the old headquarters to see what potential futures uses it could serve.

"We'll do anything we can to re-purpose [and] re-task that building," Dotson said.


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