Built Tough, Inside and Out
Built with Ready Mixed concrete, Council Bluffs’ new police headquarters opens its doors
By BRADY JONES
When Council Bluffs Police Chief Tim Carmody first broached the idea of building a new headquarters, he said the growing department of a growing city would need at least 45,000 square feet.
He got more than 58,000.
And they ended up with $2 million to spare.
"This is about servicing the community. This isn't about wanting a new headquarters — it's about needing one," Carmody had said before taking his request before the city council in 2015.
Just over three years later, that need is a proud reality — built with a lot of concrete from Ready Mixed Concrete Company.
The completed building, situated just southwest of the Mall of the Bluffs off Interstate 80, is more than three times the 19,000-square-feet facility, attached to the courthouse, that the department had worked out of for more than four decades. It features updated crime labs and evidence lockers — built to prevent mold and mildew — and much more storage and office space.
The increased room allows the department to host public events it couldn't before, providing space for a more direct connection with the community it serves and protects.
Police Chief Carmody took the issue to the city council at the end of 2015, and in May of 2016, voters approved the $20 million bond issue for the new building. Construction started in June of 2017 and was completed at the end of last year. The city held its ribbon-cutting ceremony in January.
"The citizens truly care about this community. When they care about something, they come together to support it. That's what we saw with the passing of the bond issue. They recognized the need and importance of a modern, functional facility and boldly invested in it," Carmody said in a statement.
The new Council Bluffs Police Department headquarters is located along a street named after Ezra Jackson, who was one of the growing city's first chiefs of police.
Jackson was elevated to the position in 1880 and immediately sought to professionalize the police force, requiring them to wear uniforms for the first time.
He had also served as city marshal (a kind of civic and law enforcement leader) several times and as a constable for many years.
According to the Pottawattamie County Historical Society: "He was a man of indomitable courage and made many a notable arrest in his time."