Smithfield’s new cop shop six times larger

SMITHFIELD–The Smithfield Police Department facility will grow from approximately 800 square feet to 5,000 square feet once renovation of the current building is completed.”When the citizens come in, it will be one-stop shopping for law enforcement. It will be easier to find where they need to go to have their needs met,” Police Chief Johnny McCoy said.McCoy said the expansion will provide more space and allow the department to utilize the entire building, which it now shares with Smithfield city offices.Executive assistant Brenda Smith said the department operates out of three small rooms. “It gets stressful sometimes when the city is conducting their business at the same time we are conducting ours.”McCoy said that privacy issues at the 24-hour facility are a problem as well. “When people come in to discuss sensitive issues, providing privacy can be a challenge, so the changes will help to alleviate that.”Smith said most of the criminal activity in Smithfield involves fraud, larceny, criminal mischief, domestic violence and child abuse. There were over 12,000 incidents and reports made to the department in 2009. The annual report is available at the Smithfield Police Department website.McCoy said the Smithfield Police Department is the northernmost law enforcement agency in Utah. He said the building will not only serve the nearly 10,000 residents of Smithfield, but the Utah Highway Patrol, Cache Valley Sheriff’s Office, SWAT team, as well as the drug and gang tasks forces.”With DUI enforcement, North Park Police Department has the closest in-toximeter for breathalyzer tests. After the renovation, those other agencies can come here.”The renovated building will also serve as a secondary emergency operation center, in the event that the Smithfield Fire Department is incapacitated. “This department will become a command outpost in major emergency events.”The chief also said the department will become another evacuation site for Summit Elementary as an overflow center, or in place of the Smithfield Youth Center.McCoy said there are no plans to add police officers within the next year or two, but that he hopes to be able to add personnel in the near future. Smith does have a USU intern to assist her, but the annual report lists eight titles, all with respective duties, under her name.”We hope to get her some help soon. She really holds it all together and keeps the guys in check,” Chief McCoy said.During the renovation, McCoy and Smith will operate out of the new city office building. The department will continue to utilize the Smithfield Civic Center for its crime lab, storage, and temporary squad room. Currently, patrol Sergeant Jake Walker and detective Sergeant Travis Allen have their offices in the Smithfield Civic Center. Walker is the arson investigator, crime scene investigator, and works with special victims of sexually based offenses. Allen handles training and operations.”They are both well-trained and invaluable to the department. It’ll be nice to finally have all of our leadership consolidated into one building.”McCoy said the department fitness room, storage, and crime lab are also located in the civic center and they will remain there after the renovation. “Not many people realize that Smithfield has its own crime lab and that our police officers have forensics skills.”The Smithfield Civic Center will have a new roof, heating, ventilation and air conditioning put in as well. The current evidence lockers in the crime lab will also be updated, and the building should be ready for fall basketball season.McCoy said the tentative date of completion for the renovation is Aug. 31.The Smithfield Police Department was started by McCoy nearly 10 years ago. “Starting a police department was a fascinating adventure. We’ve come a long way during that time frame and emerged as a very sophisticated, full service law enforcement agency,” he said.”I want the people of Smithfield to know that they have some of the finest officers I have ever met. Everyone has an overwhelming desire to serve and do their best for the community.”

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