While the administration continues to peddle the ‘report-to-work lockers and garage substation’ concept the rest of the policing community refers to them as ‘precincts’;
Sioux Falls City Hall anticipates spending tens of millions of dollars in the coming years and decades on new police facilities around the city.
Two years after opening what’s referred to as a report-to-work station in southern Sioux Falls, Mayor Paul TenHaken and the Sioux Falls Police Department are now eyeing a future with even more standalone police facilities apart from the central law enforcement headquarters downtown.
More than $4 million is marked in the city’s five-year capital plan for a police substation in southwest Sioux Falls, near 41st Street and Faith Avenue. But unlike the report-to-work station that opened in March 2021 near 57th Street and Louise Avenue — an unstaffed garage with locker spaces where officers begin and end their shifts — the substation planned at 41st Street and Faith Avenue will serve as public-interfacing facility.
Word semantics aside, a former city employee pointed out to me it would make more sense to build these substations with the firehouses, even if we have to add on to them. I have also suggested that we go whole hog and just implement a public ambulance service in coordination with the police substations and firehouses. It also goes back to my suggestion of cross training our officers and firefighters to perform other duties.
We all know the current ambulance contract will expire in a couple of years and it would only make sense to prepare for the public option now. That of course would take strategic planning in a public open forum.