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Murray Journal

Murray City Police Department looking forward to new HQ

Mar 08, 2023 01:48PM ● By Shaun Delliskave

Murray City Chief of Police Craig Burnett. (Photo courtesy of Murray City)

As the new Murray City Hall nears completion in May, its largest tenant, the Murray City Police Department, will move into its new state-of-the-art police headquarters. The facility, located at 4800 South, will serve as the central hub for all police operations. In addition, it will provide officers with the latest technology and resources to better serve and protect the community.

The new headquarters features a modern design and includes state-of-the-art equipment, such as an updated forensic and evidence holding room and a secure holding area for suspects. The building also has an exercise room, which other Murray City agencies can use.

Murray PD Chief Craig Burnett looks forward to the improved headquarters.

“Having all staff located in one building will bring a more cohesive environment and allow better communication between units and functions. We are able bring the entire department together in one central location; we no longer need to utilize two buildings. When the public needs anything (patrol, COP, detectives, code enforcement), there is one central location they respond to for help,” Burnett said.

Currently, Murray PD is housed in part of the old city hall. The former Arlington Elementary School (which Chief Burnett attended as a youth) was built as a Works Progress Administration project during The Great Depression. After the school closed, the city remodeled it in the 1980s into the present city hall.

Safety concerns about the building about how well the city would withstand an earthquake or fire prompted the city to build a new city hall. Also, police operations were housed in separate buildings, which the new city hall will consolidate.

According to Burnett, police officers will be grateful for many upgrades, including a locker room for equipment and uniform storage, showers and washing machines for cleanup, storage areas and meeting facilities. 

Burnett enumerated other enhancements Murray PD looks forward to, “A building that is updated, a sense of pride when speaking with the public inside of our building, an area to work out and get ready for work (showers/locker room) all in the same place. The DUI intake area and updated interview rooms will allow officers to efficiently process subjects brought into the station. Lastly, it’s nice to know we won’t need buckets on our desks when it storms because the roof is leaking.”    

Still, with a new HQ, Burnett notes Murray’s growth and changing dynamics, that the Murray PD still has needs for the future.

“Large item storage, particularly automobiles kept as evidence, is one of the biggest ongoing needs we will have. As the city continues to grow, so will the needs of the police department. With the growth of the police department comes the need for more fleet vehicles and storage of specialty items (e.g., speed trailers, bicycles, SWAT) to accommodate staff and units. Therefore, in the future, we will more than likely need an area for off-site storage to accommodate the growth and that will not clutter the city hall location and to keep it professional looking,” Burnett said.

There is an argument that centralizing evidence with Salt Lake County PD could provide the needed space.

Burnett responds, “There is some wisdom in that talk, particularly with large storage items. A lot for vehicle storage would be something to discuss. When it comes to standard evidence, having it with us, we are responsible for caring for and handling it. It is close for processing, and when needed to take it to court or the state crime lab, there isn’t the need to transfer and travel to pick it up. The citizens know where to go to pick up property, and we would not need to call an off-site location to release it. 

“The evidence that is seized, lost/found, and held for the owner was all collected in Murray. Therefore, the collection of this evidence for the owners is much easier when it is time for the release of property. The public knows that Murray City police took the evidence, and they know where they can go to collect it. The evidence being centralized creates ‘chain of custody’ issues when we start transporting off-site. The evidence that Murray City police officers book into custody is done all in-house and is taken directly to a secured location before the officers clear the call. This is quick and easy, and the officer can move on to the next call instead of having to drive to a separate location out of Murray to book evidence.”

An open house for the new city hall and police headquarters is eyed in late May or early June. The building will officially open its doors to the public during summer this year.