CAIRO POLICE INVESTIGATORS Wandell Asbell, left, and Tyron Griffin were busy moving out of the old police office Friday.
The Cairo Police office is officially operating from its new location as of Monday, and an open house is in the works so the public can inspect the newly constructed facility.
The 12,500 square foot building is located at 55 Third Ave. N.W., and Cairo Police Chief Giovannie Santos says thanks to officers and some city workers, the move went well. The police operated from its former office in the old train depot through Friday morning, and then closed for the move to begin.
“Office personnel came in and worked Saturday and Sunday, too, trying to get everything situated so we were ready to work today,” Chief Santos said Monday.
The most intense part of the move was relocating the department’s “evidence room” where evidence is kept under lock and key.
“Only officers handled the evidence,” Chief Santos said. “Everything was counted before it left the old evidence room and counted again when it got to the new office.”
Santos said the new facility is a nice improvement over the depot.
“This was built to be a police department, it was laid out that way. Logistically, it makes our jobs easier,” he said.
The new office has a Sally port, secure booking room, dedicated interview rooms, two holding cells, and a training room outfitted with needed technology such as a projection screen.
At the depot, officers pulled up next to the office, and walked suspects inside where they were interviewed in whatever office space was available. Due to the lack of holding cells, officers had to keep an eye on suspects as they sat in an office and awaited a bondsman, a process that sometimes takes up to an hour, Santos said.
The training room will be used for the officers to get their required 20 hours of inservice training per year, Santos said. Set up like a classroom, the space can hold up to 30 people, he said.
In addition to the new building, the office also has new furniture. Although a conference table was yet to arrive, Santos said it should be here in a matter of days.
Chief Santos said an open house could take place in a matter of weeks. Visitors will be required to wear masks and crowd size will be limited to less than 50, he said, so there may be more than one event.
The Cairo Police Department has a total of 27 employees, 16 are patrol officers and 11 are office personnel including the chief, administrative lieutenant, investigators and secretaries.