After being housed at city hall for decades, the East Wenatchee Police Department moved into its new location over the weekend.

The department began moving into its new headquarters at 50 Simon Street earlier this month with the patrol and detectives units, and finished the relocation of the records division at the end of last week so it could open its doors to the public.

Police Chief Rick Johnson says the move has gone well thus far but there's still some work ahead.

"We moved out of about 2,800 square feet and we are occupying 9,000 square feet on the first floor of our new building. We've still got a lot of fine tuning and work to do in order to get everything organized and adjusted, but we're working out of there now and over the next couple of weeks we hope to get all the way moved in. Then we're going to be advertising for an open house that will be open to the public so they can have a look at our new home."

Johnson adds the move has already afforded the department some quality improvements over its old digs.

"We put quite a few resources, about $65,000, into the evidence processing and evidence storage area of the building. And now the patrol unit has a full area for report writing, DUI processing, storage of equipment and supplies, and just being able to operate at what's known as 'best practice' standards within our industry."

The City of East Wenatchee purchased the building, which will also serve as the offices of the Douglas County Coroner and the Columbia River Drug Task Force, in 2021.

The total cost of the building and subsequent renovations was roughly $5 million.

The city is planning a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the building later this spring.

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