Law Enforcement Facility Design

Learn how a small-town police chief designed the ideal law enforcement facility with high-quality evidence lockers, gear lockers, and records storage.

The police department in the college town of Carbonbdale, Illinois, the home of Southern Illinois University, had been housed in a former dormitory for decades. With small high-school style lockers, cobbled-together cubbies, and overflowing records storage, the facility was cramped and outdated. When the department finally got funding to construct a new building, Police Chief Jeff Grubbs knew he had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to design the ideal law enforcement facility for his city and his department.

It was a daunting task and Grubbs, who was deputy chief at the time, started by doing a lot of research. By touring other public safety facilities before starting to plan the building, Chief Grubbs was able to learn from others’ experiences and gather ideas that would be a good fit for his department. After seeing Spacesaver products in many well-designed law enforcement facilities, he got the St. Louis-based Spacesaver consultant involved early in the design process to ensure that locker rooms, evidence rooms, and other areas were designed to promote efficiency and organization. The Spacesaver consultant worked closely with the architecture and construction firms to conceptualize and implement a seamless design.

“I just wanted to be a police officer. But like in any job, you find your way, and you find yourself fortunate enough to climb the ranks, and you end up in a position doing something that you never dreamed you’d be doing. For me that was designing and overseeing the construction of a 32,548 square foot modern police facility.”

~ Jeff Grubbs, Carbondale Police Chief

Records Storage

To reduce initial construction costs but still provide room to expand records storage in the future, rails were set in the floor during construction and only a few high-density shelving carriages were initially installed. More shelving and carriages will be added when needed in the future.

Personal Lockers

The old facility had cramped gym-style lockers that were a constant frustration for officers, so high-quality personal lockers were the Chief’s first priority in the new facility. The locker room features ADA-compliant lockers without benches as well as lockers with benches and drawers. Sloped tops prevent officers from piling items on top of the lockers, and they also conceal the wiring for charging ports located above the lockers’ upper shelf.

Law Enforcement Space Saving Locker Solutions

Personal Lockers with drying drawers

Officer Lockers with secure charging stations

Quartermaster Storage

Spare jackets and other apparel are stored on Spacesaver 4-Post shelving fitted with garment hanging rods. Spacesaver’s 4-Post shelving can be fitted with doors, drawers, and other accessories to increase functionality.

Sally Port Lockers

Sally port lockers provide convenient temporary weapon storage.

Police Station Temporary Weapon Storage

Special Response Lockers

Located next to the briefing room, the special response room can only be accessed by team members. Open, double-wide lockers provide quick access to gear. The room is located on the first floor next to the briefing room, so officers can go from operational briefing straight to transport and deployment.

Police Station Special Response Lockers

Equipment Room for Patrol

Located near the staff entrance / exit, the equipment room houses report writing stations, spare radio battery storage, and forms and mailboxes. Spacesaver shelving is configured to provide easily accessible storage for duty bags, paperwork, and personal items.

Police Station Equipment Room Patrol

“It all goes back into setting the standard and the culture for the organization. When the employees have a nice facility that includes nice lockers and storage solutions that fit the job duties and responsibilities, it all lends itself to being a more productive organization. Any one piece that’s missing diminishes the effectiveness of your organization or causes it to overcome things that it wouldn’t otherwise have to. And I think everybody can agree that whether it’s in their business or office space or even in their own home, if the storage is not organized and ready to go, then it’s in disarray. It lends itself to being less than a professional look and that diminishes the pride that people have in their work.”

– Jeff Grubbs, Carbondale Police Chief

Armory Storage

Long guns, hand guns, and ammunition are stored on specially configured Spacesaver shelving inside a locked room.

Long-Term Evidence Storage

Long-Term Evidence Storage

Spacesaver’s high-density storage systems keep evidence organized and accessible over the long term. Before the move to the new facility, officers thoroughly inventoried the evidence they were storing and implemented a system to purge evidence that they were no longer required to keep.

Refrigerated Temporary Evidence Lockers

Refrigerated Temporary Evidence Lockers

Refrigerated compartments provide secure, temporary storage for biological evidence.

Pass-Through Temporary Evidence Lockers

Pass-Through Temporary Evidence Lockers

Spacesaver’s evidence lockers, available in a variety of door configurations to accommodate large and small evidence, help ensure a secure chain of custody. Officers place evidence into these pass-through lockers from one side of a wall, and evidence technicians can access the contents from the evidence room.

“I think the most important thing about lockers and evidence and other storage is to not categorize them in the furniture-fixtures and equipment side of the project. Work with your architectural firm, identify your vendor at the beginning of the design process, and design the building alongside the storage solutions. Don’t rely upon those bids to come in on a furniture-fixture and equipment side later, to where it looks like an afterthought.”

– Jeff Grubbs, Carbondale Police Chief

Weapons Evidence Storage

Weapons Evidence Storage

Evidentiary weapons are stored on Spacesaver 4-Post shelving in a separate locked room. The Spacesaver shelving is configured to make the most efficient use of space.

Temporary Evidence Lockers

Temporary Evidence Lockers

Technicians working in the evidence room can access items stored in temporary evidence lockers directly, without leaving the evidence room, resulting in streamlined workflows and a more secure chain of custody.

Crowd Control Equipment

A room adjacent to the sally port is fitted with right-sized Spacesaver shelving for gear bags and shields. Every staff member has a labeled personal protective gear bag with equipment and chest protectors, arm and elbow protectors, leg protectors, and a protective helmet.

“We tried to ‘steal’ the best of the best from every facility we toured. And once we found Spacesaver, then we just went exclusively with them, because there was just no reason to do anything other than that.”

– Jeff Grubbs, Carbondale Police Chief

Hazardous Materials Storage

Hazardous materials are stored in a separate room, inside Spacesaver lockers.

Police Station Hazardous Materials Storage

Temporary Personal Property Storage

Detainees’ property is secured in Spacesaver lockers located in the intake area.

Police Station Personal Property Storage

“Our goal was to make the storage look like it was a part of the building. It was designed to be there from the beginning. When you do that, you get the solutions that you need. And yes, they’re going to cost more but when you see the quality, and the durability, and the clean look, and how it functions, then you know it’s worth the price. There’s no doubt about it, and we’re proud to have it.”

– Jeff Grubbs, Carbondale Police Chief