The location: The Miami-Metro Police Station.

Q. What is it supposed to be on the show?

    A. The Miami Metro Police Station.


Q. Where is it supposed to be on the show?

    A. Somewhere in Miami, Florida.


Q. When did we see it on the show?

    A. In Episode 1 (of Season 1), "Dexter".

    We first see the police station (interior only) early on, when Dexter arrives at the station bearing a
    box of assorted donuts.

    He wanders around the station, handing out the donuts to his co-workers: Debra, Camelia (the record room lady, whom he charms to get information), and Angel.

    By the end of the scene, the donut box is empty, and Dexter muses that it's empty inside like he is...

    Most of the interior shots of the police station in this episode were shot at this same location.


Q. What is it actually in real life? 

    A. Headquarters for a Fire-Rescue Dept.


Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. This location actually is in Miami.

    It is the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Headquarters, at 9300 N.W. 41st Street, in Miami, Florida.

    That's about ten miles inland from the coast, and about two miles east of the Miami International Airport.

    And not surprisingly (since the producer of Dexter like to "cluster shoot"), it is right across the street from the Doral Country Club, where they filmed the scene of the murderous valet.

    While they shot the interiors here, they didn't show the exterior until a later episode, and then it wasn't this building.

    Bear in mind that they only shot scenes in Miami for the first few episodes of the first season, and then filming moved exclusively to Southern California.  Once that happened, the Miami Metro Police Station switched locations, of course.

    Most of the police interiors are now shot on a permanent set at Sunset-Gower studios, and the outdoor police parking lot scenes are mostly shot in a parking lot at the same studio.

    But for exteriors, they've been inconsistent.  They've used a building exterior in Marina del Rey, they once used a waterside  hotel in Long Beach, and they once used the parking lot of a bank in Long Beach.  In the 5th season, they even went back to Florida and used the exterior of a high-rise condo in Miami as an establishing shot.

    Most of the exteriors show the station next to the water (while this Fire-Rescue building is far inland).

    Here is a photo of the building's exterior, courtesy of Forbes Architects:


Q. How the heck did you figure out where it was?

    A. I didn't. In fact, I didn't find out about it until filming for the 6th season was already underway. Since it was an interior, and since it was probably in Miami (or possibly just a studio set), I didn't devote much time to trying to track it down.

    Finally, in 2011, a fan named Jesse emailed me.  He's a firefighter, and has been in the building many times.  Which is just what I needed: an eyewitness in Miami !  ;)   Thanks, Jesse!



 
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