Rochester city council members revisited the proposal to expand and remodel the police department's north police station at the committee of the whole meeting on Monday.
Roger Peterson, the Rochester Chief of Police says the station lacks adequate space for specialty and squad vehicles, as well as the technology it carries.
"Back in the day, when I started, a garage was simply a place to park a car. Today the logistics are a lot more complicated. The demands are a lot higher. The technology is a lot more complicated. It makes us more effective, more efficient at what we do, but it brings a whole bunch of demands in terms of the infrastructure that you need to accomplish that," Peterson said.
"With the amount of equipment and the necessity that that equipment works when you need it, you just can't do business in the state of Minnesota with having thousands of dollars worth of computer, camera, radio, equipment -- all the things that go in the squad car."
The city's finance director reports two options to cover the construction costs. The first would be to get everything done at once, at a price tag of $22 million. The other option would be to do it in stages, with an additional $1.5 million in expenses due to expected inflation. With the phased option, the department would have to pick what upgrades they want to be done first.
"This is a process of determining not only what we need, but when exactly do we need it, and how does that fall into the priorities of the city, because obviously, easy for us to look at what the police department needs kinda in a vacuum, and they need to look at from the overall perspective," he said.
The proposal would include a three-level garage and make the facility "full service" with forensics, interview rooms, evidence and vehicle processing.