Crews demolish old police station

Crews demolish old police station »Play Video
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SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- Robert Conrad picked up a brick from the rubble of the Springfield police station and carted it off as a momento.

"You spend 18 years at a place working, there's a lot of memories there," the Springfield police detective said. "It's come to an end now, and I wanted something to remember those times by."

Crews demolished the police station Tuesday to make way for a new jail. The police department moved operations into the voter-approved Justice Center next door.

"I'm proud of the fact the citizens have backed the police department to buld this awesome new building," said Sgt. John Umenhofer, "but I'm also kind of sade. There were a lot of arrests and a lot of good cases worked out of this building."

Umenhofer said the building had been used as a police station since at least 1941. The building also served at times as a fire station, a history told by the hose-drying tower on top of the building.

"They used to use that as a lookout tower and a place to hang the hoses after they had been used," Umenhofer said.

A contractor will start construction on a new 100-bed jail on the site with an opening date of September 2009, months ahead of schedule.

"I think 100 is going to be just about right to get people who want to continue to committ crimes to go somewhere else," Umenhofer said. "The ones who are going to do it here, we're going to have a place to keep them so they don't victimize our citizens."

Demolition on the old police station started Tuesday morning. By the end of the day, the building was gone.

"It came down a lot faster than I thought," Conrad said. "They were really munching into it real quick."

Leaving nothing but rubble and bricks.