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Aug. 14, 2014
The Northwest Missouri State University Police Department and Office of Purchasing have a new home on the west side of the University campus that already is enhancing the two department’s operations.
The police and purchasing departments moved July 28 to their new headquarters adjacent to the Materials Distribution Center. It replaces the building on West Ninth Street at the east edge of the campus, where the two departments had resided since the 1980s.
Northwest’s Board of Regents in November 2013 approved a resolution authorizing the execution of a construction contract with EL Crawford Construction Inc. to build the 7,300 square-foot metal building. The project cost about $1.65 million.
“Being here a week and seeing our new place is like night and day,” University Police Chief Clarence Green said. “The service we’re going to be able to deliver to the entire campus and community will take things to a different level.”
For University Police, the enhancements are significant. The police department once called the J.W. Jones Student Union home before moving to the former Support Services Building during the late 1980s. That location, which was meant to be a temporary one for the unit, had become too confined and inadequate for the needs of today’s campus environment.
Most notably, the new building’s dispatch center allows four staff members to work more comfortably, and it provides a secure location for data entry and record keeping, among other operations. The new dispatch center also is built as a storm shelter.
The new building also includes a large conference room, evidence rooms, an armory to store weapons and equipment, and men’s and women’s locker rooms. The police department’s former home had one locker room that also served as a storage room, armory and sometimes even an interview room.
Now, officers have two interview rooms designed solely for speaking with individuals involved in crimes, thus enhancing confidentially and the police department’s ability to investigate those crimes.
Additionally, the new building includes spaces that allow the police department to enhance services it provides to the campus and surrounding communities. Those include a finger printing station and a larger, more secure room for the police department to store guns for Northwest students who participate in hunting activities or trap shooting courses.
Northwest’s Office of Purchasing also is recognizing increased efficiencies in its operations since moving to the new building. Purchasing units and staff members are now working in one location, whereas previously they were separated by multiple locations across the campus. The new purchasing office also offers a more conducive work environment for its staff.
“We’re more efficient because we can walk next door to assist with surplus or if trucks come in and they are shorthanded for coverage,” Director of Purchasing Ann Martin said. “Instead of driving across campus daily to pick up important paperwork, we can walk next door. There’s improved face-to-face communication.”
Working collaboratively with Northwest Facility Services, the police and purchasing departments made efforts to involve all staff members in the design process for the new building. Employees are taking extra pride in their new workspaces because they had input.
“It was a total University team project,” Martin said. “Everyone was great in helping with our needs, and University Police and Purchasing worked together.”
University Police, which consists of state-commissioned police officers, full-time dispatchers, and student employees, is responsible for all law enforcement, emergency management and safety on the Northwest campus. The department is staffed with officers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and it works closely with outside law enforcement agencies to better serve the community. For more information about University Police, visit www.nwmissouri.edu/police/.
The Office of Purchasing is responsible for acquiring materials and services for the University. It also handles the shipping and receiving of packages from campus, coordinates surplus auctions and offers moving services on the campus. For more information about the Office of Purchasing, visit www.nwmissouri.edu/services/purchasing/.
The former Support Services Building was constructed in 1979 and used to house the mass communications department and other units displaced by that year’s Administration Building fire. With the relocation of the police and purchasing departments, the building is now unoccupied and the University is considering its future usage.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
firstname.lastname@example.org | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900
Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468