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Ventura County Focus | East County / SIMI VALLEY

City Close to Giving Police Some Space

September 16, 1998|S.J. CAHN

After a year and a half of construction, the city is putting finishing touches on its new $13-million police station.

The 55,000-square-foot building--more than double the size of the existing station--includes a security system, a lunch room with patio seating, ample space for evidence storage, an advanced communication system and fiber-optic wiring.

"The main thing we needed was space," said Simi Valley Police Lt. Neal Rein. "We have so outgrown where we are."

The pressure to build a new station for the department's 120-member police force heightened after the 1994 Northridge earthquake, which damaged the second floor of the old station.

The new building, in the civic center at Alamo Street and Tapo Canyon Road, was created to meet the specific needs of Simi Valley police, said Howard Leach, the Ventura-based architect who designed the station.

Anchored by a central hallway lined with skylights, the new station is expected to be more efficient for daily police business than the collection of buildings currently in use on Cochran Street.

Rather than travel to a separate building to pick up police records, for example, officers will be able to walk down the hall. The public will also have access to records, evidence and on-duty officers from the building's public entrance, a centerpiece of the station.

A public opening is planned for Oct. 10 and the department will move in after that.

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