Why is a new Police Facility needed?
The existing Police Department building pre-dates 1957 as the structure was an extension of the existing municipal power plant that was constructed in 1924. The original purpose of the building was for City Hall, and later, City Hall was relocated to its current site on Roosevelt Avenue and the Police Department took over occupation of the former site on Holmes Street. In 1990 the police garage was added, and in 1999 the office space was remodeled to its current configuration.
When the City Hall relocated to its current site in 1978, the City had a population of 6,900 and the Police Department had 10 sworn officers. Today, the population of Detroit Lakes has grown to 9,400 with a Police Department staff of 19, including 17 sworn officers. The City is projected to grow to over 9,700 by 2022. The proposed new facility is being planned to not only improve upon the existing condition but to meet the future needs of the community.
Detroit Lakes is a growing community with increasing demands on law enforcement. The Detroit Lakes Police Department saw a large increase in calls for service from 10,771 total calls in 2016 to 12,163 in 2017, a 13% increase. Based on year-to-date figures, approximately 350 more calls are projected in 2018 than in 2017. To put this in perspective, in year 2000 our department had 13 police officers and they handled 8,200 calls for service. This averaged each officer handling 630 calls for the year. In 2017 DLPD had 16 officers and handled 12,163 calls for service. This averaged each officer handling 760 calls for the year. To provide the law enforcement our community needs, the City Council approved DLPD to add another full time officer in 2018.
The City of Detroit Lakes is unique as our seasonal lake home owners move into the City to enjoy all the City has to offer and we attract many visitors for popular events such as the 4th of July, the Northwest Water Carnival and WE Fest. Because of the expanded population during the summer months, our calls for service increase by approximately 200 calls per month over the winter months. The DLPD’s goal is to provide a safe and secure environment through professional policing and courteous service to residents and visitors alike. Our officers are on-duty 24 hours a day / 365 days a year to respond the needs of the City.