Construction of the approximately 42,000-square-foot, $19 million Royal Oak Police Department is now complete, and police have begun moving into their new headquarters.

Construction of the approximately 42,000-square-foot, $19 million Royal Oak Police Department is now complete, and police have begun moving into their new headquarters.

Photo provided by the Royal Oak Police Department


Royal Oak Police Department begins move to new headquarters

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published January 25, 2021

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ROYAL OAK — Beginning Jan. 18, the Royal Oak Police Department began moving into its new state-of-the-art headquarters, which connects to the 44th District Court and is located at 450 E. 11 Mile Road.

City administrators said that there would be no change in service, and all calls and general business would be conducted as usual. Some police operations — including dispatch, prisoner holding and investigations — occurred at the Madison Heights and Troy police departments during the transition.

The lobby of the current station, located at 221 East Third St., will remain open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily until the new station is up and running.

Officials are optimistic that the approximately 42,000-square-foot, $19 million new station will be fully operational Feb. 1.

“I can’t overstate what a big deal this is for our officers,” Royal Oak Police Chief Corrigan O’Donohue said. “It is a state-of-the-art building and will make police operations much more efficient and effective.”

The Police Department used the entirety of its approximately $1 million forfeiture fund, consisting of money seized in drug raids, and the city scaled back several planned elements to make sure the project stayed on budget.

The new building has more offices, conference rooms and space for meetings, as well as environmental and sustainability measures such as economical heating and cooling systems, energy efficient roofs, LED lighting and native plantings.

A large indoor parking area allows for officers to get in vehicles and go without having to wait for vehicles to warm up so that their computers function. It also expedites tow truck drop off of vehicles for evidence processing and provides additional storage space.

The design offers more efficient evidence processing, as well as a much safer and quicker process for transporting prisoners. Court security guards can escort prisoners via a bridge attaching the department to the 44th District Court, freeing up police officers to patrol.

The new dispatch center will be larger than the old one, with the capacity to absorb another dispatch center if necessary. An indoor training space will eliminate the need for police to use outside facilities to train. The department also expanded its decision-making shooting simulator to a 180-degree experience.

“We’re definitely excited to see that come to fruition and overcome the many challenges COVID-19 has thrown our way,” Royal Oak City Manager Paul Brake said. “It’s exciting to really take advantage of all the amenities and efficiencies the building has to offer.”

The current building that housed the City Hall and Police Department was constructed in 1964 based on designs for a school, and the original brochure celebrating the opening of the building touted its “great vinyl asbestos tiles.”  Officials said it was built poorly, with structural issues and a leaky roof and windows.

In August, most City Hall operations switched over to the new building, although it has not yet reopened to the public. In November, the former City Hall shuttered to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Once the City Hall and Police Departments are settled in their new buildings, the next step will be to demolish the existing buildings. Crews will then build a 2-acre public park in their stead, situated directly in front of a six-story Henry Ford medical building. Officials are hoping to begin constructing the park this spring.

For more information, visit romi.gov or call Royal Oak City Hall at (248) 246-3000.

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