As part of both National Police Week and National Transportation Week, we’re showing you how DART looks out for your ride in our “Your Ride, Our Lookout” series. Today, learn more about the historic and environmentally sustainable building that the DART Police Department calls home.
Located in the historic Monroe Shops building adjacent to the Illinois Station on the Blue Line, DART’s Police Headquarters offers visibility, convenience and room to grow. The building has been home to the DART Police Department since 2011.
The agency acquired the circa-1914 Monroe Shops building – a former interurban streetcar maintenance facility – in 1991 as part of its land acquisition for the Blue Line. In 2007, the U.S. Department of the Interior placed Monroe Shops on the National Register of Historic Places.
Historic preservation of the building made adapting it for a new use more challenging. Steven Bourn, former DART architect, designed a building within a building to protect the integrity of the original exterior walls. He fit three floors into the vertical space, giving DART Police a 69,000-square-foot facility to make their own.
Additionally, DART’s construction and design efforts earned the United States Green Building Council’s LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certification, the organization’s highest recognition. DART Police Headquarters was the first publicly owned building listed on the National Register to achieve LEED Platinum status.
Ground level arranged for convenience
Lt. James Foster led the needs assessment that ensured the new building functioned effectively for a police department. The project committee also hired a consultant that specialized in designing law enforcement facilities.
“The building’s flow is designed to meet the needs of the police officers first,” Foster said.
Officers enter through a private entrance and then move sequentially past firearm storage, locker rooms and the detail room. When they leave the building, they reverse the path and depart fully equipped.
A public entrance leads to the front lobby, which houses one of the historic streetcars once repaired in the building. The space is large enough to hold events and meetings and at least one group uses the lobby monthly. Records, recruiting and hiring also are located on the first floor.
The city of Dallas leases space for the South Oak Cliff Veterans Treatment Community Court in the building because of its proximity to the Dallas VA Medical Center and convenient rail service between the two facilities.
Dedicated spaces support police activities
There may not be a jail on the premises, but DART Police Headquarters contains nearly everything else a modern law enforcement facility needs.
Interview rooms – used for complainants, suspects and internal affairs – contain video and audio recording equipment, which gives the department an accurate and secure record of what happens during every conversation.
DART Police Headquarters also contains several dedicated training rooms, including one with computer stations for e-learning modules and a simulated firearms training space that emulates a gun range. On the third floor, a large classroom houses a variety of training sessions and meetings.
A highly secure evidence storage room features a computerized locker system, including some refrigerated units, that facilitates tracking and helps preserve the chain of evidence. Another room can transform into an emergency command center if needed. The area has numerous phone and Internet ports, its own HVAC system, and emergency generator power.
Check out these 2011 news releases and Inmotion article to learn more about the DART Police Headquarters building.
- DART brings new life to historic maintenance building (news release)
- An Unlikely Suspect: Creativity rehabilitates a repeat offender into a state-of-the-art police facility (Inmotion newsletter article)
- DART Police Headquarters achieves LEED® Platinum certification (news release)
Continue to stay tuned to this week’s “Your Ride, Our Lookout” series to learn more about our police officers and how DART gets you to your destination.