Mayor Richard M. Daley and Chicago Police Department officials Saturday dedicated the new Near North District police station at 1160 N. Larrabee St.
Joined by civic and community leaders from the district, Daley and Police Superintendent Terry Hillard welcomed the new facility as a building able to provide officers with 21st Century crimefighting tools that also gives the public a police station encouraging participation in community policing programs.
The new station, more than twice the size of the one it will be replacing at 113 W. Chicago Ave., has a state-of-the-art computerized command center and interactive video equipment allowing for conferencing among other police facilities and video bond hearings, Daley said.
It also has a large community meeting room to facilitate meetings under Chicago’s Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS), expanded and separate locker facilities for male and female officers, an exercise room and a “quiet room” where officers can recover after facing a traumatic situation on the street.
“This new station, like the others we are building, is designed for the computer age, to accommodate the growing ranks of female officers and to be fully accessible to people with disabilities,” Daley explained. “None of these factors were significant when the old station was built more than 40 years ago and we have a much better society as the result of these changes.”
Personnel from the 18th District will begin moving into the new station next week; the dedication was held before the police take occupancy so the public could tour the building’s security areas, such as the lock-up and computer room, before they go into use, Hillard said. Hundreds of local residents visited the station during this open house on Saturday and Sunday.
This is the fifth new police station constructed for the City of Chicago by the Public Building Commission (PBC), which Daley also chairs. The others were the 1st, 6th and 16th district stations and the new Police Headquarters building at 35th and State Street, according to PBC Executive Director Eileen Carey. Under Daley’s Neighborhoods Alive 21 program, a total of 19 stations will be replaced or substantially renovated.
The new station marks an official name change for the 18th District, which will be called the Near North District instead of the East Chicago Avenue District. The new building is 47,000 square-feet in size, compared to the 22,217 square-footage of the old station on Chicago Avenue. Cost of construction for the new station was $11.2 million.
It is the latest in a series of public and private developments in that community over the past several years, including the Chicago Public Library’s Near North Branch; the expansion of Seward Park; the new Jenner Elementary School and Walter Payton Academy; the mixed-income North Town Village residences; and the Dominick’s-anchored shopping center at Division and Clybourn.