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Alexandria breaks ground on 'eloquently simple facility'

Echo Press photo by Celeste Beam Mayor Dan Ness (center), along with Police Chief Rick Wyffels (left) and Captain Scott Kent (right) took part in the official groundbreaking of the new police station.1 / 2
Echo Press photo by Celeste Beam Alexandria police officers participated in a groundbreaking ceremony at their future office site along 3rd Avenue West, near the new Douglas County jail.2 / 2

City officials, construction managers, police officers and more were present during the official groundbreaking of the new Alexandria Police Station last Friday.

After a welcome from Jim Taddei, Alexandria city administrator, city leaders spoke to the large crowd. They included Alexandria Mayor Dan Ness; Alexandria Police Chief Rick Wyffels; and city council member Sara Carlson.

From the city's standpoint, Mayor Ness said he is excited about the new police station and that it adds to the public safety campus on the north end of Broadway, which also includes the Alexandria Fire Department.

Ness said he was prepared to provide whatever was needed for the new police station.

"As long as it is within budget," he quickly added.

The mayor commended the police chief and his department, noting that Chief Wyffels runs an efficient and effective police department.

Carlson, who is not only a member of the Alexandria City Council, but also a member of the planning committee for the new police station, said the project was a long time coming.

She said the police department has been incredibly patient and that she is pleased with and excited about the project.

Carlson agreed with the mayor, saying, "We will give them what they want as long as it is within budget, of course."

Chief Wyffels said he didn't prepare any notes for the groundbreaking and that he would just speak from his heart.

He first thanked the city council members and the mayor for their work on the project and said it was because of the vision and competency of the police department that the project was able to move forward.

Wyffels told the city council members and mayor that he and his department are certainly proud of the new facility.

"We will be smart about the economics and will respect the taxpayers," he said, calling the facility "eloquently simple."

Wyffels called himself the luckiest chief in the state because he has a department that believes in what they do and believes in the city it serves.

His department works as a team to provide the best service it can to the people of Alexandria, said Wyffels.

"We are excited to be here today and to work as a partner with the city and its people," he said. "We don't do this alone, we do it as a team."