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Lathrop building New police station on River Islands

From cramped offices and meeting spaces to not being able to hold suspects, the Lathrop Police Services office on Seventh Street has long been far too small to serve the growing department and the rapidly growing community it serves. 

But all of that will soon be a thing of the past. 

Last week the Lathrop Planning Commission granted a conditional use permit for Califia LLC to construct a 13,889 square foot police station on a 2.39-acre parcel located in the River Islands Town Center. 

Located just on the River Islands side of the Bradshaw’s Crossing bridge, the new facility will allow for Lathrop Police Services to provide police coverage for both sides of the San Joaquin River while focusing law enforcement where the majority of the city’s residential growth is taking place. With more than 11,000 homes scheduled to be built in River Islands alone – which, when fully built out would more than double the city’s current population by itself – the decision to construct the new facility was made by the Lathrop City Council as a way to provide resources to where they were needed while at the same time being fiscally responsible with the city’s existing general fund reserves. 

While a parcel was available to construct a new police station not far from Lathrop’s existing City Hall complex, the purchase price of the land alone would have cost Lathrop in the neighborhood of $2 million before a single dollar was spent on the construction of the facility. 

And the decision to take the developer’s assistance was a relatively easy one. 

After spending nearly five hours discussing potential contracts with agencies that will provide the city with police protection as it takes the preliminary steps to launch their own independent department last year, the Lathrop City Council spent only a fraction of that time discussing and ultimately approving a proposal that will locate the city’s police station at a new state-of-the-art facility across the San Joaquin River where the majority of the city’s residential growth will be concentrated. 

The developer will foot the initial bill of $8.8 million – which does not include the 2.5 acres of land that the building will sit on or the potential land for expansion – and recuperate those costs through building permits as more residential tracts come up for development. The city will be contributing $1.8 million from its Municipal Services community facilities fee fund that is generated by growth to bring the project to fruition. 

The single story building will include the agency’s administrative offices, a public lobby, public and employee restrooms, and a temporary holding facility for up to five people under restraint – something that Lathrop Police Services currently does not have at its existing facility on Seventh Street, prompting deputies to transport those arrested to French Camp for booking into the San Joaquin County Jail which takes them out of the city. It will be constructed across River Islands Parkway from the recently opened Islanders Ballpark and will be adjacent to the San Joaquin River. 

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.