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Lathrop Police headquarters will shift to French Camp

The Lathrop Police Department is moving to French Camp — at least for now.

On Monday the Lathrop City Council met in closed session regarding ongoing lease negotiations with the property owner of the building that currently houses Lathrop Police Services located at 15597 7th Street. They discussed potentially extending the lease to allow for the building to be used until the city’s newest police department is constructed in River Islands. 

While the negotiations were held behind closed doors, Mayor Sonny Dhaliwal announced via his social media page on Tuesday that the city would be transferring it’s police services operation to French Camp at the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office within the next two weeks – meaning that residents looking to file police reports or file for vehicle releases will have to drive to the county complex in French Camp in order to do so.

The development, while new, was hinted at last month when San Joaquin County Sheriff Pat Withrow informed the council during his comments on an unrelated matter that he would be okay with temporarily housing the police operations for the city while work is completed on a new police station. 

While Lathrop has been an incorporated community for more than three decades, the new police station will be the first specifically constructed in Lathrop to serve a law enforcement purpose – with the city moving into leased property on 7th Street after outgrowing a smaller facility near Lathrop’s Old City Hall near the Simplot corporate offices. 

The council has already approved an agreement that will lead to the construction of the new police station in River Islands, funded initially by the developer and recouped through development fees over a period time. 

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.