Two long years of construction finally stand as the new 95,000 square-foot Public Safety Center in Bozeman.
The state-of-the-art building is set to improve work efficiency as the Bozeman Police Department, Fire Department, and municipal courts make themselves at home.
“When a car pulls in, it pulls up to the canopy and the video starts uploading basically through the canopy into the server,” says Bozeman Police Chief, Jim Veltkamp.
Veltkamp says that planning for the building started nearly 10 years ago. Planning then focused on layout to make safety a top priority; they also looked ahead to make sure they could grow into the space as the community has grown rapidly.
“To see the building being used how we hoped it would be when we started planning this,” says Veltkamp, “to see it actually be open to the public is actually rewarding."
With the Police moving from their substation at Fire Station 1 and the Law and Justice Center there was some uncertainty as to transferring so many files that were scattered in different locations across town.
“It went very smoothly,” says Veltkamp. “It’s hard to know what to expect when you are moving an entire department that has case files back literally decades and a lot of stuff stored in different places.”
Police used to share space with the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office; now in this building, most of the people they share the space with are their own colleagues.
“That’s been great to be able to work closely with other city staff,” says Veltkamp. “Now in one place without having to travel across town. So even though we’ve only been here just a few days we’ve already seen that change.”
The doors are now officially open at the Public Safety Center. The city will be hosting an official ribbon cutting ceremony next Friday, Sept. 16. The public will also have a chance to tour the building.