Wapello County Law Enforcement Center

The Ottumwa Police and Wapello County Sheriff’s Department is in the process of expanding their workspace. On Thursday, they asked county supervisors to support the project.

OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa Police and Wapello County Sheriff’s Department started off the new year by asking county supervisors for funds to build more workstations in their shared law center.

Sheriff Don Phillips summarized a letter from Lt. Mickey Hucks, saying the workstations allow deputies and officers to have their own desks to work on reports and better serve the community.

“Within the police department, there is a workspace on the first floor of the main law center used by the officers for report writing,” Hucks wrote. “The department desires to refit the area as a better workspace and future needs. The space needs to be more efficient and provide for additional storage space. The current counter, island and file cabinets will need replaced in the officer’s area.”

Phillips said to make room for the sheriff’s department’s work space, he wants to take an old desk they have and sell it.

Supervisor Jerry Parker asked if Teamsters 238, a team of law enforcement officials, approved of Phillips’ proposal.

Phillips said he has not received word and will have a meeting in the future to determine what will happen with the work space. The supervisors have approved the proposal and will take $9,950 out of the maintenance fund for the work stations.

As for the police department, Police Chief Tom McAndrew has one bid lined up to go toward the new work space. The bid is from Shawn Shirk for $5,725. Phillips asked the supervisors again if they could approve of that bid and contribute more funds as needed.

The supervisors will contribute more. “If we’re going to work together, we got to work together,” Parker said.

“You guys [supervisors] are going to save money by working with us on it,” Phillips said.

Phillips and the supervisors are unsure of when the project will start, but they are ready once they have a clearer vision for the workstation setting.

“There’s not really a timeline,” Phillips said. “We’ve been presented with this and we’re trying to see what we want to do.”

“Since it’s a joint law center, both sides should talk about those projects,” Parker said.

Chiara Romero can be reached at cromero@ottumwacourier.com.

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