By Debby Woodin

The Joplin Police Department will ask the Joplin City Council on Monday night to consider the purchase of a South Main Street building as the location for a new substation.

Police Chief Lane Roberts will propose that the city buy the building that formerly housed the Companion Animal Hospital at 115 E. 34th St. The purchase price would be $198,000.

Roberts said Friday the building offers about 2,200 square feet of space that is at what he considers to be a good location for the purposes of the substation. He said there were three main considerations for a location.

“I wanted it to be central to the expanding part of Joplin,” Roberts said. “I needed it to be on the opposite side of town (from the main station) because we need to extend our services to a population that is ever-growing.”

It also needed to be close to Interstate 44 calls, he said.

He said there were two other pieces of property considered for purchase and one available as a rental. “There’s just not much available,” in that area of the city that would be adequate for Police Department needs. “This particular property is uniquely suited not only because of the location of the piece of property, but because the building is good as well,” the chief said.

A substation would house the department’s special enforcement unit of 17 officers plus clerical support staff. A reception desk would be open to the public during normal business hours on weekdays, though the officers would work out of the station 24 hours a day, the chief said.

He said that all police services would be offered to the public at the substation. “Anything you get downtown, you could get down there,” he said.

The chief estimates that operating costs would be about $15,000 a year.

Special meeting

The police chief’s recommendation to buy the property will be presented at a special meeting of the Joplin City Council at 5:45 p.m. Monday at City Hall, 602 Main St.

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