Emergency Operations Improvements

Among other issues, the needs assessment highlighted issues with the city's current Emergency Operations Center (EOC) which would be addressed by building a new facility. An EOC is a central location from which public safety and support agencies coordinate emergency response and recovery and is a critical component of managing public safety and security during a major incident. The current police facility does not have space for a dedicated EOC. Instead, emergency operations are run through the squad room which lacks adequate space needed for an efficient EOC and is not properly reinforced in the event of a natural disaster.

The new Justice Center would include a large area that would be shared by the city for municipal court, police training, council meetings, emergency operations, and a much-needed public access storm shelter. Incorporating a storm shelter into the design creates a multi-purpose facility that provides a safe haven during natural disasters and emergencies. It will be FEMA-approved, shelter approximately 350 people, and can serve as a tornado shelter, warming center, cooling center, etc. The storm shelter component of the building enhances community preparedness and resilience by providing a designated safe space for residents and their pets during emergencies.