KYLE, Texas (KXAN) — The City of Kyle breaks ground Friday on a new public safety center that’s supposed to make living in one Hays County community safer.
At present, there are around 60 officers at a ratio of 1.03 officers per 1,000 residents, which is lower than the standard ratio of 1.5 per 1,000. City leaders said the two-story building will provide space for the police department to continue to expand over the next 20 years and beyond for a city that is quickly growing.
“That’s why we are building a 64,000 square-foot building because we know we’re growing at such a rapid pace that we really have to get ahead of the curve and that’s why we were looking at 20 to 30 years ahead,” said Rick Koch, the city’s Mayor Pro Tem and city member for District 5
The 2020 Census data show there are around 52,000 people who call Kyle home, but city leaders said their estimates are closer to 58,500. They believe the city is growing at a 10% rate per year, which is why this center is so important.
“We didn’t want to end up in the same situation that we are in now where our Police Department is in too small of a facility because we don’t want anything to impede their ability to bring the best public safety services to the city,” said Koch.
The new center will allow the department to expand its services over time to things such as:
- Improve emergency response times;
- Accommodate victims or residents experiencing trauma as a result of crime;
- Create an investigations suite and canine unit;
- Manage evidence processing and storage;
- Increase officer training and recruitment:
- Pursue Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) accreditation; and,
- Expand community-based programs and mental health services
The new center will also provide the city with the opportunity to create an Emergency Operations Center.
The $37 million project is made possible through a bond passed last fall. Construction will take around 14 months and is expected to open in early 2023.