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Examiner
  • Old animal shelter will house K-9s, police evidence

  • The former Independence Animal Control building on Vista Ave. off Truman Road is being converted into space for the Police Department.



    Police Major Terry Storey detailed for the City Council Monday how the former Animal Control building and its surrounding property will soon house the K-9 unit, a crime scene evidence bay and a fenced-in lot for crime evidence vehicles and seized vehicles.

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  • The former Independence Animal Control building on Vista Ave. off Truman Road is being converted into space for the Police Department.
    Police Major Terry Storey detailed for the City Council Monday how the former Animal Control building and its surrounding property will soon house the K-9 unit, a crime scene evidence bay and a fenced-in lot for crime evidence vehicles and seized vehicles.
    “It’s a win-win for us,” Storey said. “This came to us as the right opportunity.”
    For 12 years the K-9 unit had been housed for minimal cost at a building on Little Blue Sewer District property on Missouri 78. But the sewer district recently decided to repurpose that building, Storey said.
    Also, the Police Department has been seeking to build a separate evidence bay. Storey said plans had been for a building on East Lexington Avenue a couple years ago, half for the evidence bay and half for Parks and Recreation storage, but funding on the Parks and Recreation side fell through.
    But with a new Regional Animal Shelter now on M-78 taking the place of the old Independence shelter, police will have a couple wishes granted.
    A steel door inside the building will separate the K-9 dogs’ housing from the evidence bay, while the area behind the building will be fenced in to house vehicles. Animal Control’s incinerator and freezer directly behind the building will remain there for continued use by that department. The fence and door should be installed in the next couple weeks, Storey said.
    The Power and Light Department is installing exterior lights that not only will benefit the building, he said, but hopefully will deter crime in the surrounding neighborhood.
    “We want to help them by creating a police presence,” Storey said.
    Storey and City Manager Robert Heacock each noted how this repurposing is a prime example of intra-department cooperation.
    “We couldn’t do this without Public Works,” Storey said. “They’ve done a lot of work.”
    Council Member Jim Schultz said having a Police facility will help the neighborhood on the city’s east side.
    “I think it will be an advantage for the area to have a police presence there,” he said. “It might help it grow.”
    “I know in may ways our K-9 officers are our most popular employees,” added City Manager Robert Heacock. “The kids love seeing them (when they visit schools). I think it’s fitting they have this type of facility.”
     
     
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