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El Paso Police’s new central regional command center

The El Paso Police Department will be receiving a new Central Regional Command Center after the city council voted to purchase the 13-acre plot of land that originally homed Bonham Elementary School. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

After three years of idleness, the site where Bonham Elementary School sits will now have a new purpose. On April 9, the El Paso City Council voted unanimously to purchase Bonham Elementary School from the El Paso Independent School District (EPISD) with the intent to repurpose the site for El Paso Police’s new Central Regional Command Center. 

The 13-acre site was purchased for $4.76 million using funds from the voters approved 2019 Public Safety bond, according to the Capital Improvement Department (CID), which oversees investment in public infrastructure. The entire project is estimated to cost $24.6 million. 

The police department says they have had challenges with accessibility and space at its central regional command center downtown. Police Chief Peter Pacillas expressed relief and optimism about the new center.  

“We’ve outgrown it. It’s small. We have both our patrol officers, we have our bike officers stationed somewhere else, and our detectives all trying to work out of a small station,” Pacillas said in an interview with KTSM.  

Pacillas also says maintained access was at the top of the list when it came to the importance of the new site.  

“Access to their police department, and also a state-of-the-art facility, one of the things this station doesn’t have is a community room, it’s the only one that doesn’t, and they’ll have parking and access to the police department,” Pacillas said.  

The new Command Center is expected to house various departments, including a roll call/report area, detective, tactical and sergeant areas, and a gymnasium with lockers.  

Bonham Elementary shut its doors and consolidated with MacArthur Elementary-Intermediate School in 2021 due to a decline in enrollment. In March, the El Paso Independent School District Board of Trustees voted to sell the vacant properties.  

When it came to choosing the site for the new police command center, city officials said they had done their due diligence. 

“There were a couple of properties that we did evaluate, and we did a side by side, really looking at criteria, what meets the needs for our Police Department and really, how do we make sure that it’s a centrally located facility.” city engineer Yvette Hernadez said.  

Community residents feel encouraged and hopeful that the new command center will bring more security, such as Elizabeth Hoats. 

“We’re excited to have some law enforcement that close in the neighborhood. There have been attempted house break-ins and also a stolen vehicle on our street recently. So, police presence we hope will deter criminals.” Hoats said.  

The project is said to break ground next year, as the CID design process has already moved forward, and the procurement of the site is to take place in early 2025 with the city council’s approval, according to Hernandez.  

Jorge Guajardo is a staff reporter and may be reached at [email protected] 

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About the Contributor
Jorge Guajardo
Jorge Guajardo, Staff Reporter
Jorge Ian Guajardo, is 30 years old and born and raised in El Paso. He is majoring in multimedia journalism and minoring in English rhetoric. He is a contributor at The Prospector looking to lay the foundation for a long and successful career in journalism once he graduates.
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