City of Silvis breaks ground on $2.5 million police department

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City officials, project leaders, and members of the Silvis Police Department used gold-plated shovels to break ground on a new Police Department on Monday.

The 10,443 square-foot, $2.5 million facility will be built at 600 Illini Drive and feature a high-security area with evidence and interview rooms, a dispatch room, an exercise room and a six car garage. It will also have a booking room separate from the rest of the building, making it safer for everyone.

"It will be a key code access only and a concrete enclosure," said Mark VanKlaveren, the Silvis Police Chief. "It's vital to have that kind of security."

The Silvis Police Department is currently located near a rail line where rail cars carry combustible materials. The Silvis Police Chief said this could pose a safety issue.
"Some of those cars contain explosive and corrosive chemicals at times, which if a big spill were to happen, depending on wind direction, it could cover the police department," said VanKlaveren. "Obviously, public safety is a big issue and as far as keeping our police department up and running, our dispatch center has to be safe so we can take care of anything in an emergency situation."

Officials said construction on the new station will be finished by the end of 2016.

The city is paying $1 million out-of-pocket and the rest is paid for by a loan from Blackhawk Bank and Trust.

Editor's note: the original post said an issue with the current police department's location was its close proximity to the National Railway Equipment Co., which works on cars and engines. This has been edited to attribute the safety concern to the materials inside the rail cars and the possibility of a spill, not associated with National Railway Equipment Co.