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The Ellensburg Police Department is enduring tight confines with the knowledge that a more spacious future is about to arrive.

The Ellensburg Police Station on Pearl Street is going through the first major remodel since the building was built in 1952. Staff currently has to share offices, and some have to work in literal closet space according to Ellensburg Police Department Capt. Dan Hansberry. The remodel will increase the size of the police station from 3,000 square feet to 20,000 square feet, according to project manager Lathan Wedin.

The building used to house both the police and fire departments, but after the Kittitas Valley Fire and Rescue moved to its Mountain View Avenue station, the police took over the building. The remodel is being completed in two phases. Phase one, which is nearly finished, primarily focuses on the fire department side of the building. Phase two, which will begin at the end of phase one in a couple weeks, will be the remodel of the police side of the building.

Phase one is a remodel of the fire department side of the building, which also makes up about three quarters of the property. It is currently being modified to support a modern police force. For example, the garage used to house the firetrucks has been turned into interview rooms, record rooms and a waiting lobby for citizens.

The records room connects to both the waiting lobby and the hallway, that leads to interrogation/interview rooms. The lobby also contains a ballistic glass that allows clerks located in the records room to communicate with citizens in the lobby in a secure manner.

“We do get our share of agitated individuals that come in here,” Hansberry said.

The police force is currently operating out of just a quarter of the building, which is scheduled for phase two of the remodel. Once phase one is completed, the department will move into the remodeled section while the last quarter is remodeled.

The officers are cramped in the smaller section and have to share offices. They are currently using a single multipurpose room for briefing and training. The larger side of the building provides the department with a separate briefing and training room. The department is eager to move into the larger section but is waiting for it to be completed.

“We don’t want to rush in over there and find some little thing that isn’t right,” Hansberry said. “We are waiting for them to give us the go ahead before we move in.”

The building is also providing two larger holding cells. Hansberry said that the both of the old holding cells could fit into one of the new ones with room to spare.

The remodel provides secure parking for police vehicles, which will prevent vandalism that the department has received due to parking on the alley. Hansberry said that they have had vehicles keyed, windows broken, tires slashed and even a one-time case of a pipe bomb detonating in a vehicle.

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