Eugene Police move in at new department location

EUGENE, Ore. -- The Eugene Police Department made the move to a new location Saturday and welcomed the public to view the new building that was two years in the making.

The city agreed to buy and renovate a building on Country Club Road two years ago that would be used for the new police headquarters. The project cost the city $17,000,000 to remodel the existing space. City officials project that the final price tag is half of what the cost of building a new facility.

"We're living within our means at city hall and I think this is a good example of it." said Eugene's City Manager John Ruiz.

Part of the renovation project was aimed at making a professional and effective space for operations. At the downtown building the officer locker rooms were in the basement and officers had to carry gear and equipment up a flight of stairs.

The Chief of Police Pete Kerns said that the building plans were designed with efficiency for the officers in mind.

"In the event of a disaster we wouldn't be able to help from that other facility." Kerns said. "From here we can provide world class service that the community receives."

Kerns said he believes that this building is better suited to help officers while undertaking crime prevention around the city.

The parking issue that has plagued the downtown offices was also resolved at the new location. The new facility has ample parking space and is located along bus line Kerns said this will facilitate a better connection with the public.

The move to the new building marks a significant milestone in the moving process for City Hall.

"We are clearing out city hall, in fact all city employees will be cleared out by the end of next week." said Ruiz.

Media was limited to viewing only a few locations in the new facility but members of the general public were taken on a guided tour throughout the facility Saturday morning.

The day's events concluded with the official raising of the colors ceremony at noon, where both the Oregon and United States flags were hoisted up the flag poles by the new Eugene Police Department's entrance.