Ribbon Cut

Community celebrates new police station for the city of Lincoln

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[November 12, 2018]  On Wednesday evening a large crowd gathered for the ribbon cutting ceremony and open house at the new Lincoln Police Station. The station is in the former Jefferson School building located in the 700 block of Fifth Street.

The evening began at 5 p.m. with a flag raising ceremony. The flagpole, now located near Fifth Street is the same flagpole used by Jefferson School. It had been taken down during construction and got a makeover of its own.

Then Wednesday evening, while the American Legion Color Guard stood at attention and a bugler played, the flag was raised for the first time by Chief Paul Adams with assistance from two officers including assistant chief Matt Vlahovich.

Afterward there was an invitation only tour of the building. Those in attendance for that tour included Lincoln city officials including the seven sitting aldermen, Mayor Seth Goodman, the city clerk and treasurer, Lincoln police officers and their families, former Mayor Marty Neitzel and former Ward 2 Alderwoman Kathy Horn and their guests, and other valued community leaders.

At 6 p.m. everyone went outside to the front of the building for the ribbon cutting ceremony. The ceremony was led by the LDN Ribbon Cut Crew with Nila Smith serving as emcee, and Karen Hargis and Roy Logan holding the ribbon and assisting in getting the group together for the photo opportunities.

Smith welcomed everyone and thanked all for coming out and showing support for the new station. She noted that there is currently a very popular slogan or mantra that says “If you can dream it, you can achieve it.” Smith said that the new Lincoln police station was the epitome of that mantra as so many had shared their vision, their dream and then had worked so hard to achieve it.

Guests standing behind the ribbon were acknowledged including representatives from Congressman Darin LaHood’s office - Hal Smith and Reagan Tibbs. It was noted by Smith that Tibbs is a Logan County native who also has a big dream of entering into a political career. At the conclusion of his first year of college Tibbs attained a position as an intern in the LaHood office, a great first step to achieving his career goal. It was also noted that Reagan is the nephew of Chief Paul Adams and wife Kari.

Also in the crowd was State Representative Tim Butler. Both Smith and Butler spoke briefly, congratulating the city of a big accomplishment.

Chief Adams was the next to speak. He spoke about how the work to accomplish this goal had been supported by the city and he talked about the people who had been involved from former Mayors Keith Snyder and Marty Neitzel to former City Administrator Clay Johnson, former Alderwoman Kathy Horn, and former Police Chief Ken Greenslate.

He noted that at the old station, it was not the best environment for the officers to do their work. He said with this new structure, the officers have a safe environment and a place with plenty of space to do their job effectively.

Adams acknowledge the great work done by FMG Architects to transform a school building into a really well balanced, working police station. He also spoke about the primary contractor P.J. Hoerr, Inc.

Adams concluded talking about how much he appreciated his team of officers, and how they had dedicated themselves to this project. He also voiced deep gratitude to his family, his wife and kids, saying that this project had involved sacrifice on their part as it had consumed a lot of his time and had taken away from his family, but they had supported him, they had stood with him and were today on hand to celebrate with him.

Mayor Goodman was the next person to speak but he immediately said he would like to first yield to former Mayor Neitzel and Alderwoman Horn.

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Neitzel began, saying that much talk had been about the building itself, but she wanted to acknowledge what the new station meant to the community. She said that as a long-time supporter of this community and supporter of economic development, this new facility sent a message to those who are looking to come into Lincoln for their business or to make the town their home. She said that it speaks to the quality of police protection in the city and would make a positive impression.

Neitzel said, “I am so happy that this was done in my lifetime!”

Horn began by saying that she was just delighted that the new police station was in the city’s Ward 2. She noted that the station is now in the center of the city, with easy access to the entire town via Fifth Street.

Goodman spoke last, saying that he deserved the least amount of credit for this new facility because as mayor, he came into office when the project was well underway, and can only say that he was here to see it finished. He added that what he would do is say "Thank you!" to Paul Adams and the officers of the department. He said that he understood the enormous effort these people had put into this project and that it had taken a tremendous amount of their time.

After the ribbon cutting, the public was invited inside for a tour of certain areas of the building. Food was provided by Flossie and Delzena’s in Lincoln and the large training room was used as a social area for guests to enjoy their refreshments and visit.

Inside the front door there are two plaques, one commemorating the new police station and the other remembering the former life of the building. As Jefferson School, the building served the community well and many a child received his or her elementary education inside those walls.

The plaque is a remembrance that the first half-century of the life of the building was important and the new plaque is a testament that the retired school building now has a new a very valuable purpose in the community.

[Nila Smith]

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