When the t-Virus contaminated the drinking water in September 1998, tens of thousands transformed into Zombies within hours, and the police were called into duty, with many rallying at the station to defend it. In the early hours, the police station took in many civilians as refugees, including Sherry Birkin. On September 25, having gone into insanity, Chief Irons ordered for the police station's weapons locker to be emptied and weapons and ammunition scattered throughout. Due to these orders, police took casualties in the fighting against zombie intruders due to ammunition shortages. On September 26, dozens of officers, including SWAT, were sent out of the station altogether to engage the zombies head-on, and were massacred as a result. Those left inside endured further attacks on the station on the 27th, and faced Lickers, mutations of the Zombies they failed to kill.
By September 29, the only personnel left were Chief Irons, Lieutenant Branagh, and Elliot Edward. Sherry Birkin and Ben Bertolucci were left as the sole remaining civilians, the former due to her small size allowing her to use ducts, and the latter due to being sealed in a prison cell. That night, RPD rookie Leon S. Kennedy, college student Claire Redfield, and spy Ada Wong entered the police station for their own reasons, and witnessed the deaths of the last officers.
On September 30, USS agent HUNK entered the police station to rendezvous with a helicopter at the front gate. On October 1, the precinct was decimated along with the rest of the city due to the Sterilization Operation carried by the United States Air Force on the orders of the U.S. President.
Originally, the building was an art museum in central Raccoon City until 1969, when the newly-established RPD purchased it due to its convenient location and ample parking, and was then converted into the precinct. The building underwent various changes during renovations, while other areas of the building (such as the old air ducts) were left intact.
The building itself was highly decorated with different art pieces. Some of these pieces, such as the statue in the main hall, were remnants left behind from the museum In addition, a number of expensive art pieces were further added after the renovation, purchased by Chief Irons.
The building was three stories tall and includes a clock tower and basement. The main entrance of the precinct faced Ennerdale Street, one of the city's primary thoroughfares. The back entrance facing Flower Street served as the entrance to the building's underground parking.
There were a number of similarities between the precinct and Umbrella's Spencer Mansion, most notably the use of intricate keys and locks as well as several puzzles, effectively transforming the building into a large maze.
Attempting to overlay the gameplay maps of the building with the building's exterior model reveals a lot of unused space.
In the Main Hall, the door leading to the Information Office is at the top of a ramp and the door to the Waiting Room 1F is at the bottom of the ramp. Passing between the Information Office and the Waiting Room 1F by alternate routes does not indicate any difference in height between the two rooms. This flaw was corrected in the Resident Evil 2 Remake.
During its numerous displays through the series, it received several different designs.
The police station's origin was retconned for the 2019 remake of Resident Evil 2. Before this retcon, the RPD purchased the art museum in the late 1980s.