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The Salt Lake City Police Department hopes to construct a Sugar House precinct in the coming years that could house more than 100 officers.
Chief Mike Brown described the plan at a Tuesday work session of the Salt Lake City Council, saying the new facility would help cut down on call response times. He said the building ideally would be located on the eastern end of the Sugar House neighborhood.
Brown noted both the department's primary facilities are on the west side of the city. The department's Public Safety Building, completed in 2013, is at 475 S. 300 East downtown, and the Pioneer Precinct is at 1040 W. 700 South, on the opposite side of Interstate 15.
Driving the length of the city limits from east to west can take more than 40 minutes with light traffic, Brown said. That's why Brown said a precinct is needed to the east: To cut down on response times and reduce wear and tear on vehicles.
Officials said the proposal is in the very early planning stages. Brown told the council he didn't yet have a list of properties in mind, or how the facility would be funded. The $125 million Public Safety Building was paid for through a taxpayer-approved bond. He also didn't have a timeline for when he hoped such a building could be operational.
Brown estimated the facility might be around 70,000 square feet, and house between 100 and 120 officers and a community meeting space. The department employs about 450 officers.
He said a price tag might be in the $10 million range.
Council members sounded receptive to the idea.
"When you look at the time police are spending in their cars, moving from call to call, there can be a lot more efficiencies," Councilman Charlie Luke said.