After years of planning, the Scott County Sheriff's Office has opened a new headquarters for its patrol division. Tuesday, department and county officials cut a ribbon on South 16th Avenue in Eldridge, just off Highway 61.
Sheriff Tim Lane says it cost time and money for patrol deputies to drive back and forth — first to downtown Davenport, then to what was considered a temporary building on Tremont Avenue in north Davenport in 1994.
"Most of the work that we do in patrol is out in the rural parts of Scott County and the small towns. So what we need is a central location that has quick access to the highways - quick access to the north-south and east-west highways."
Lane says the new patrol headquarters has more space — for larger offices, to store evidence, an exercise room, and a room for training and roll calls. But his favorite feature is the garage.
"For years and years deputies have gone out and chipped the ice off their cars before they could answer an emergency call. They came in and out in the rain and wind - everything that came with the weather. And we were vulnerable to vandalism to county-owned equipment, taxpayer-owned equipment."
It will also be much safer for the deputies to go in and out of the new building.
It cost $4.5 million, and Sheriff Lane estimates the yearly savings from the new building will be equivalent to the cost of one, full-time deputy.