Underestimated O'Fallon population has led to jam-packed municipal center

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by Emily Rau / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on October 15, 2012 at 4:29 PM

O’FALLON, Mo. (KMOV) -- O’Fallon, Missouri is growing so much faster than city leaders projected that police are struggling trying to keep up.

The O’Fallon Municipal Centre houses city offices, the court and police department. Officers said they’re out of room, which could mean a public safety issue.

Supply closets are overflowing with equipment and evidence rooms are jam packed.

“We’re just out of room! There’s no room left!” said Officer Diana Damke. “They’re constantly trying to figure out where to put everything and rearrange all the things they have because everything is so crowded.”

The city council is looking at options to fix the problem.

City officials said they initially expected the population to be 60,000 by 2015. Instead it reached almost 80,000 in 2010.

Police said a new facility is the best alternative. They said it’s just as much about public safety as it is storage.

“It would really be better and more efficient and allow the officers to do their jobs better,” said Damke.

The department has more than doubled in size since moving into the building in 1999. Officers are hoping their square footage will soon follow suit.

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