West Richland Police give tours of current facility ahead of election

    West Richland Police Station

    WEST RICHLAND, Wash.-- West Richland police say as the city grows, their current police station seems to shrink.

    The current facility is 43-years old and not meeting the needs of police.

    The City of West Richland is asking property owners to consider a bond to fund a larger police facility.

    Chief Ben Majetich says, "Just walking through our front doors in the lobby area where we do our day to day business with the public you can see immediately you're in a closet."

    Originally built in 1976 as a pharmacy, the West Richland Police Department's facility isn't meeting the needs of police.

    Chief Ben Majetich says, "It's something that we know we've needed for years."

    They've talked about it for 20 years, but this is the first time they're taking it to voters in April.

    Chief Ben Majetich says, "The city is continuing to grow, the projections are exponential as far as what’s going to happen in the future and we aren't in a position to handle that. We aren't in a position to handle current operations let alone future operations."

    Chief Majetich says they’ve been offering tours, online and in person, to give people a glimpse of what they're dealing with.

    Chief Ben Majetich says, "One thing I have not run into through this whole process is people saying we do not need a new facility."

    While almost everyone can agree the need is there, some people wonder about the cost.

    Chief Ben Majetich says, "The only concerns some people have is how big and how much?"

    The 29-year bond proposal includes a rate of 42 cents per every 1000 dollars of assessed property value.

    A $300,000 homeowner would pay just over 10 dollars a month.

    Chief Ben Majetich says, "We don't want to ask for a 20-year bond and then before that bond runs out we're asking for more because we've already outgrown that building, this one is going to last us at least 50 years."

    Chief Ben Majetich says, "It's not just for police, it is for the community. We're moving to a more centralized location, to service not only the existing parts of west Richland but the projected growth out west."

    That will be near where the Benton Fire District #4 building currently is.

    Chief Ben Majetich says, "Everybody I run into, we are going to vote for you, we support this, we need a new police department, but I know there's a group of people out there that either don't feel that way or they don't know anything about it. My challenge is to do everything I possibly can to try to find those people and explain give them our case of what we're asking for and why, that way when they do cast a ballot, they know what they're casting it for."

    The next tour of the police station is next Tuesday, at 6pm.

    For more information, click here.

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