Omaha Police Department West Precinct

Omaha, Nebraska

The Omaha Police Department needed to expand its presence in West Omaha as Omaha’s population continues to grow westward. The city sought a modern facility to house a growing police force, and one that promoted OPD’s “community policing” philosophy.

Our expertise and experience in public-safety design helped OPD leadership hone its vision for the facility during a series of pre-design workshops. We led architecture and engineering services for the 36,000-SF facility, which houses three police units, including emergency response, traffic investigations and patrol.

Designed for community policing

Amenities such as a community room, public workstations and Wi-Fi invite press members and neighborhood organizations to share space and engage with police, fostering transparency and partnership. Warm and inviting interior finishes adorn the precinct’s public spaces, which are smartly aligned with entrances to provide staff with clear lines of site. When a community member enters the precinct, he or she enjoys comfortable surroundings, straightforward access to police services and easy network connectivity that facilitates report filing and finding information.

Construction costs for the West Precinct came in under the $10 million budget at about $8.2 million, and on-schedule, following a sophisticated design-refinement process. Our design team worked closely with Omaha police leadership, the city’s public works department and the mayor’s office to precisely program OPD’s newest and westernmost precinct. During this process, our designers evaluated dimensions, function, proximities, visibility and access.

Flexibility supports growth

As programming and design progressed, the project team priced materials and labor at key stages. The precinct’s resulting, highly functional interior features flexible spaces capable of being repurposed as needed.

For example, conference rooms and command offices share the same dimensions to accommodate changing needs and staff growth over time, and the community room can host press conferences as well as Boy Scout or Neighborhood Watch meetings. Multipurpose rooms are equipped for many types of training, because training is frequent and ongoing for all public-safety employees.

Details enhance security

To address concerns about being “targeted,” which are shared by police officers nationwide, high window placement eliminates visibility of interior work while still allowing occupants to benefit from workplace daylighting. Outside, a concrete “seating wall” forms a perimeter around a public plaza adjacent to the precinct’s front entrance, simultaneously providing protection and buffer space while encouraging conversations.

Behind the scenes, functional details unseen to most include wide corridors that prevent individuals from blockading hallways, and hidden “distress” call buttons placed throughout the facility. Work areas use durable, industrial finishes to stand up to the rigors of police work in all seasons.

Client 

City of Omaha

At a glance

36,000-SF police precinct, the city’s fifth and westernmost precinct.

Features

Warm and inviting public spaces with secure and durable restricted spaces

Technology integrated to streamline access to police services

Separate entrance for detox

On-site fitness center

Bays for storage of fleet vehicles

Services

Planning

Programming

Design

Construction administration