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Moving Day Police Now On McHenry
It wasn't without its share of hiccups, but the big moving day for Escalon's police department from its former Coley Avenue location to the new Civic Center facility on McHenry was Monday, Dec. 7.

The department is now operational in the new location and residents needing to contact the police can call the old number - 838-7093 - or the new one now in service, 691-7300.

"The phones are up and running, the computers are up," Police Chief Doug Dunford said late Monday afternoon.

A ribbon cutting and formal dedication for the new building is scheduled for next Wednesday, Dec. 16. The ribbon cutting will be at 3 p.m. and the building will be open until 6 p.m. for tours.

The new building houses both the police department and recreation department, which is now back under the auspices of the police department. Residents right now can still sign children up for sports programs at City Hall on Main Street but need to start making the transition to the McHenry Avenue location.

"After June 30, they will have to go to the police department to register for sports," Dunford said. "The police department and recreation department are now located at 2040 McHenry."

The site was one of two shell buildings the city purchased on McHenry for expansion. The other one at 2060 McHenry will be developed at a later date to house all the other city departments, from Engineering to Finance. Only Public Works, with its Main Street Corporation Yard, will not join the rest of the city offices on McHenry.

But there is no timetable set for developing the 2060 property. That will depend both on the market and the city's financial situation.

Until then, the old police department building will serve as the hub for planning, building and engineering, and City Hall will still house the city clerk, finance department and clerical staff.

Though there were some chaotic moments on Monday and not everything went according to plan, Dunford said he was pleased that the transition was made as smoothly as it was. Crews had been preparing for the move for several weeks, getting items boxed up and moved over a little bit at a time before the big push on Monday.

"We also really want to thank Big Boy and Pizza Plus, they donated food to us, they had had food brought in," Dunford said, noting that the delivery of food helped workers stay focused on getting the department back in operation. "They contributed a lot."

The Wednesday, Dec. 16 ribbon cutting and building dedication - to former longtime police department staff member Angelo Dugo -is open to the community.