Previously, the Detroit Lakes Police Department was operating within a drastically undersized facility that was not designed for law enforcement operations. The existing facility did not provide essential spaces such as locker rooms, evidence processing, interview rooms, nor adequate office space for the department of 16 sworn officers. Additionally, the existing facility did not provide separation or a secure perimeter between staff and public zones placing the department’s staff at risk.

Client: City of Detroit Lakes, MN
Type:  Law Enforcement, Planning & Studies
Size: 22,000 SF


Strengthening Community Ties

At just over 22,000 square feet, the new Detroit Lakes Police Station was constructed within the city’s downtown district and has become an integral part of the city’s redevelopment plan for the downtown area. At this prominent location, the police station was designed to be a community resource and to strengthen the identity of the department within the community. The new station provides a natural-light filled community room open to public-use. Within the public spaces, historical imagery of the department which was collected from the local historical society is displayed proudly.

Enhanced Workspaces

An important aspect of the planning process was to provide a welcoming police facility and stress-reducing environment. Following biophilic design principles, the Detroit Lakes Police Station provides ideal access to natural daylight within public and staff work areas, along with utilizing natural materials and warmer tone finishes selected to reduce occupational related stresses.

Function and Growth

Providing functional spaces to support the department’s operations was an essential factor in the planning of this facility. Coming from a facility that lacked many of the spaces that larger police departments take for granted, the new Detroit Lakes Police Station now provides the department with dedicated spaces designed specifically to fit the needs of law enforcement personnel and future growth of the department.

For example, the locker rooms were designed with resiliency to be easily converted to a gender-neutral locker room with adjacent private changing and shower rooms as the department’s staff evolves in the future. Additionally, the Detroit Lakes Police Station provides a secure perimeter between the public and staff zones, and interview rooms are located directly off the public lobby without the need to bring witnesses beyond the secure perimeter.

Reinforcing the City’s Mission with Design

In providing a safe and secure facility using ballistic glazing and masonry materials, the material choices reinforce the exterior perimeter and ballistic-resistant materials within the interior lobby space. Overall, the Detroit Lakes Police Station provides the department with a modern facility, thoughtfully designed with ideal operational flow and elements to support the needs of the department, while benefiting the community.

Credit Line: “Anthony Gilbert © Gaffer Photography”

OFFICER Law Enforcement Design Award Winner

2021 Officer Magazine Law Enforcement Design Awards – Facilities III Silver