Grantsville City Police Chief Jacob Enslen said he didn’t expect so much of his job to involve picking out furniture and making decisions on color.
Since taking over as police chief in March, Enslen has been involved in the day-to-day process of leading the department and weighing in on the completion of the city’s new justice center. The $3.6 million facility will house the city’s justice court and police department.
Enslen said the most recent work has been installing doors and windows at the facility, which is slated to be complete in November. He said he’s been more involved in the project than he expected, dealing with small but important details, like who has access to which rooms in the shared building.
“It’s little things, little details that have to be decided,” Enslen said.
Inside the justice center, crews are still doing plenty of work, but the space is beginning to take shape. Enslen pointed out the purpose of each room, including storage for evidence, interview rooms for the court and the shared community space.
At this point, the walls are still exposed sheetrock with particle board doors and construction equipment everywhere. Enslen already has the space planned out, however, which will be a significant increase over the space the department currently utilizes in City Hall.
“Just the evidence room alone right now is overflowing,” he said. “We have to store a lot of our equipment in there and evidence, and this will allow us to get better organized and keep things separated.”
With the police department moving out of City Hall, other city departments are expected to divvy up the office space, Enslen said.
The justice center also features more secure unloading of suspects for court, with a secure sally port at the rear of the building and holding space. Enslen said the department will have two different interview rooms, with a traditional setup as well as a more comfortable, lounge-type space for interviewing families or victims.
In addition to expanded work space, the justice center will feature a kitchen area with microwave and fridge, as well as a fitness room for officers. He said the department is looking for donated exercise equipment to use in the new fitness room.
The facility also includes additional office space for future investigators and patrol sergeants to be hired when the department expands, Enslen said. He praised city leaders for building a facility that will allow for growth in the future.
“I think it’s an amazing accomplishment for the city to get this building put in place and it will serve the citizens for a really long time,” he said.
The two biggest open spaces in the new facility are the new justice court, and a training room that will be open to the public. Both rooms feature high ceilings and several windows, which let in lots of natural light during a tour Tuesday afternoon.
Enslen said he hopes to start community outreach, including a merit badge program, once the new justice center is finished.
While there are still several months to go before construction is complete, Enslen said the project appears to be on track financially and he looks for ways to cut costs, such as eliminating unnecessary signage and a perimeter fence.
“We do little things here and there to try and save a little money and make sure we stay within budget,” Enslen said.
The city is financing the justice center with a state Community Impact Board loan for $2.7 million at 2.5 percent interest over 30 years. The city will use $400,000 in public safety impact fees and $500,000 from the general fund’s reserve fund as a down payment.