While the decision to build the City of Lathrop’s police station in River Islands made some waves when it was first announced, the location will actually have sweeping benefits for the community as a whole.
The sprawling complex – the first being constructed solely as a law enforcement facility to serve the growing South County community – is currently about halfway complete and could be inhabited by the end of this calendar year if construction remains on schedule.
It’s location – just on the River Islands side of the Bradshaw’s Crossing bridge into the master planned community – is something that Lathrop Police Chief Ryan Biedermann said will end up benefitting residents in the long run as the city continues to grow as planned.
“When you look at it on the map, it’s really going to be centrally located,” Biedermann said. “It’s going to be geographically located in the center of Lathrop and because our home base will be centralized, we will be able to reach all of the corners of the city equally – which isn’t the way that it always has been.
“And when you’re talking about the kinds of calls where seconds matter and lives are literally on the line, being located in that kind of position is very beneficial.”
According to Biedermann, the new facility will also mark the first time that Lathrop Police Services will be able to operate completely out of Lathrop – cutting out the off-site storage and allowing for everything that the department needs to operate to be located in the facility that will house the police department.
Last fall the city made the decision to shift the operations of Lathrop Police Services to French Camp temporarily while the new facility is constructed after a lease for the building that has housed law enforcement operations for more than a decade could not be reached with the property owner.
According to Beidermann, that transition wasn’t all that out of the ordinary because for years officers have had to make routine trips to the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office facility in French Camp to pick up equipment that couldn’t be stored in that building because of space reasons.
All of that equipment, Biedermann said, could be relocated by the end of this calendar year which would mean the only reason that officers assigned to Lathrop would need to go back out to the main facility would be to transport people for booking into the San Joaquin County Jail.
And with a new building comes new technology.
Much like the City of Ripon has a wall inside of its dispatch center that displays the live feeds from cameras located all over the community, Lathrop Police Services will have something similar that will allow those at the station to see what is happening around town in real time – something that will be invaluable for deputies.
“It’s kind of crazy – there’s going to be a whole wall of monitors that all of our deputies will have access to,” Biedermann said. “Our citywide cameras and the LPR cameras – that’s going to give us a chance to see what is happening as it happens, and all of these tools and technologies make it easier for us to do our job.”
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