Madison Police Department officially broke ground for the new Midtown Police Station, which is set to be fully operational by August 2018.
The facility will be approximately 30,000 sq. ft. and cost nearly $11 million, with construction, land purchases, power generator lines and outside contracting.
Mayor Paul Soglin, MPD police chief Mike Koval and officer David Dexheimer spoke at the ceremony about why Madison needs a new police station in this location.
“It comes at a critical time in regards to the challenges that our city and our police department face,” Soglin said. “With this new station we’re going to have an opportunity to deal with these challenges … and create a safer city.”
The station is set to be located at 4020 Mineral Point Rd and will service a sizable portion of the current MPD West District area, splitting it into a sixth police district, Dexheimer said.
Koval said the main reason for establishing a new station is because the current police district lines did not allow them to properly serve all their constituents.
The Madison West district, for example, has about 85,000 constituents and covers hundreds of road miles from the west most point of South Pointe Road and the eastern border of Franklin Avenue, Glenway Street and Seminole Highway.
“The west [Madison police] district has a population that would make it the fifth largest city in Wisconsin, so it’s a very large geographic area as well as a population base,” Dexheimer said. “There’s a large chunk of territory that West won’t have to serve.”
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Koval said MPD would have a more “equitable distribution of services” and faster response times with the new Midtown satellite station.
He also highlighted the community-oriented approach of the new station, which will have a community center for city residents to gather and socialize.
Soglin and Koval had earlier disagreements over the new station, but ultimately decided to fund it to address increased violence. Koval also noted in his address that many community members held support for the project, which helped move the possibility of funding forward.
“So for all of those people, we want to thank you for getting us to this point today and we’re so excited for the possibilities of tomorrow,” Koval said.