By Matt Kroschel

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4)– Keeping a community safe can be an expensive undertaking. One county in Colorado is taking a different approach that involves teamwork between the police department and sheriff’s office.

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The $19.3 million Combined Law Enforcement Facility (CLEF), a joint project between the City of Steamboat Springs and Routt County, will officially open its doors to the public on Monday. The vision for officers and deputies working together has been years in the making.

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“The collaborative efforts by the city, county, contractors and owners have resulted in a state-of-the-art facility that will serve our citizens for decades to come,” said Steamboat Springs City Council President Pro-Tem, Kathi Meyer in a statement. “Better yet, the project is on budget, on time and a shining example of positive partnership between local governments and a new era for public safety in the valley.”

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The nearly $20 million project is funded jointly between the two agencies, with the city picking up 60% and the county covering 40% of the facility. Some of the amenities include a weight room and a welcoming lobby.

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The county is also responsible for the cost of the new communications center located on the second floor.

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“Crime knows no boundaries, it doesn’t have jurisdictional boundaries and things that go on the city go on in the county,” said Routt County Sheriff Garrett Wiggins.

The project also benefited from a $1 million state grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs.

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“By combining two public safety facilities together, we saved a significant amount of money while maximizing law enforcement services across the community.”

Steamboat Springs Police Department and Routt County Sheriff’s Office employees are in the middle of moving into the building this week and the new facility will officially open for business next week. CBS4 cameras were allowed inside for a sneak peek Wednesday.

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A grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony is planned for Friday from 10-11 a.m.

The old Routt County Sheriff’s Office building will be renovated into the evidence locker for both agencies.

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Matt Kroschel

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