By Megan N Crider
An integral part of any community, no matter how large or small, is the police station. This facility serves as the hub of security and provides many services to its citizens. A centralized location and uniquely catered spaces will increase the station’s accessibility and success as it strives to serve its community. Effective operations within a police station begin with a well-designed building, adhering to the stringent programming needs of the entire police staff. For example, the separation and distinction between secure and non-secure spaces in crucial and is addressed in the design phase, as well as the construction phase of the project with the use of different materials.1 Better space functionality as well as personal safety are achieved with careful consideration and research. The Marion, Illinois police station recently relocated from its original location just east of the town square into the former Army Reserve Training Center building located off of the bustling Highway 13. Although the location for the new station is much more convenient and centrally located, the building was not designed as a police station and therefore lacks in fully serving its user. The project proposal is to redesign and relocate the Marion police station so that it will better serve the needs of the growing community. The building will be designed to specifically house all of the facilities and space needed by the police department. The new station will be secure, and also welcoming for the public and the police staff.
Since 2000, Marion’s population has increased over seven percent and its projected job growth over the next ten years is 39%, higher than the national average of 36.1%.2 Growth like this will result in the need of a larger police force to accommodate the change in population. In their current location, the Marion police will outgrow their station in a short matter of time. The design of a new facility will provide larger spaces for day to day functions within the station, including areas for on-site training, including classrooms, gun ranges, and other spaces needed for the teaching and preparation of the officers and other staff.3 Public spaces will be welcoming to the public and will provide opportunity for the department to further engage with the community.
A newly designed police station in a central and accessible location will enable the Marion Police Department to more effectively meet the increasing need of the community and will encourage a growing relationship with the local citizens.