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Michigan State Police unit relocates from old prison

May 5, 2019
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In this Tuesday, April 30, 2019 photo, Michigan State Police Lt. Christian Clute, left, and Trooper Colin Gensterblum carry an Ionia detachment sign from the old Riverside Correctional Facility to Clute's pickup truck during moving day. After operating out of an old Riverside Correctional Facility building for more than a decade, the Ionia detachment is relocating three miles north to the Ionia County Central Dispatch. (Elisabeth Waldon/The Daily News via AP)
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In this Tuesday, April 30, 2019 photo, Michigan State Police Lt. Christian Clute, left, and Trooper Colin Gensterblum carry an Ionia detachment sign from the old Riverside Correctional Facility to Clute's pickup truck during moving day. After operating out of an old Riverside Correctional Facility building for more than a decade, the Ionia detachment is relocating three miles north to the Ionia County Central Dispatch. (Elisabeth Waldon/The Daily News via AP)

IONIA, Mich. (AP) — A state police squad based in a mid-Michigan city has moved out of a deteriorating former prison that had served as its home for more than a decade.

The Ionia detachment of the Michigan State Police relocated last month to a new building in the city, the Daily News of Greenville reported . A dozen state police officers will now work under the same roof as the Ionia County Central Dispatch, the agency responsible for answering all emergency and non-emergency calls in the area.

The Ionia detachment had been operating out of the old Riverside Correctional Facility building since 2006. The building had previously served as a mental hospital.

Michigan Department of Corrections spokesman Chris Gautz said the building was converted to a prison and then for use by state police, who occupied just a small part of the space for offices.

The state police’s squad room was one of the last active offices in the old prison building.

Trooper Colin Gensterblum worked Tuesday to help close up that space by putting old documents into a shredder.

Gautz said it’s more cost effective for the squad to move than to pay for the old prison’s upkeep.

“The building is in poor shape,” Gautz said.

“It was inefficient to use and maintain a building in such bad shape just for office space when other office space is available in the broader community that will be less expensive to operate in the long run,” he added.

The Ionia squad is renting out half of the county’s dispatch facility over the next five years for $33,180. The agreement allows the Michigan State Police unit to extend the agreement, with gradual increases in rent.

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Information from: The Daily News, http://www.thedailynews.cc/

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