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Lathrop without police station for between 12 to 18 months

There is now officially no police station in the City of Lathrop. 

Wednesday was the first day that the Lathrop Police Services complex – located at 15597 7th Street – was dark after it was announced that the city would be transferring operations temporarily to the Sheriff’s Office while work begins on the city’s first police station built specifically for law enforcement purposes. 

While the official transition was announced last month, current San Joaquin County Sheriff Pat Withrow hinted at the possibility the month before at a meeting of the Lathrop City Council when speaking about a different matter – informing the council that his department would be gracious hosts in the event that negotiations with the exiting property owner on 7th Street did not result in the city agreeing to extend the lease until the new facility is completed. 

The construction process is expected to take between 12 and 18 months to complete. 

City officials at the time declined to comment on Withrow’s remarks, stating that negotiations were underway and an announcement would be made when a decision was reached. 

While residents will no longer be able to physically visit the building to handle their business, the existing phone number – 209.858.5551 – will still be operational with calls to dispatch needing to be made to 209.468.4400. All other business can be handled by visiting the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office Administrative Complex located at 7000 Michael Canlis Blvd. in French Camp behind the San Joaquin General Hospital. 

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 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.