Worker Jeffrey Reeder helps install a high-density mobile shelving system in the City of Spokane's new evidence storage facility aWednesday. (SRphoto/Colin Mulvany)
Spokane-area law enforcement welcomed the opening of a new evidence storage facility Wednesday.
The 66,000-square foot facility at 4010 E. Alki Ave. has fire suppression capabilities not found in the previous 17,000-square foot facility on West Gardner Avenue.
The city announced plans to buy the warehouse in June 2010, more than a year after voters rejected a tax to pay for a new building.
The city borrowed from the main reserve and investment fund while consolidating work space in other buildings to eliminate the need for leased space. The savings went toward purchasing the new building, which cost about $3.4 million with upgrades.
"It's about a 100 percent improvement over our current facility," said Tom Bell, police evidence technician.
Employees will be transferring evidence to the new facility over the next week.
Mayor Mary Verner said the new facility fills a crucial community need.
"Without the retention of evidence, justice cannot be served," Verner said at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Verner said the new facility should serve Spokane Police Department and Spokane County Sheriff's Office for 50 to 75 years.