Below: Overhead view of the new police station site. The large grassy area at the bottom of this picture will be the back side of the building/cruiser parking lot area.
Below: Overhead view of the new police station site. The road on the right is Putnam Hill Road and the road on the left is Central Turnpike. This was the site of the Blue Jay.
Thank you to all of the residents who took the time out of their evening to attend Spring Town Meeting and support Article 15, the proposed police station. As part of the process, we would still need the ballot vote on May 23rd to pass with a majority vote in order for the project to be approved.
Here is the next segment of our New Police Station posts. The area we'll focus on today is our garage. Our current facility has 3 garage bays; we do not have what's called a drive through "Sally Port" to use when bringing a person under arrest into the police station for booking.
When we take a person into custody now, we have to park outside of the garage door, request the dispatcher on duty to open the "hatch" (as we like to call it), we remove the person from the rear of our cruiser and escort them into the garage through the open door. The first picture you'll see, where there's a "11" on the rear hatch of the vehicle, is the narrow walkway between the wall and the cruiser that we have to walk a prisoner through to get to the door of the booking area. (If you look closely on the right, you can see the door frame.) Imagine having to walk an intoxicated or combative person through that narrow opening and try to not have any damage happen on a cruiser that may be parked there?
If you look closely, under the leaves that have blown in from the large pile that gets generated from the whirling winds in front of this corner of the building, you may notice a rust colored stain on the floor. This stain is due to the malfunctioning floor drain directly under cruiser 611 (pictured). In the winter time, we try to keep the cruisers that will be used through the course of the day parked in the garage bays. By parking the cruisers there, it helps any snow and ice melt off of the vehicles so they may be accessed quickly for an emergency for the next shift. Officers on duty are responsible for making sure any vehicles that do not fit in the garage are cleared from snow and ice for the oncoming shift. Back to the orange floor stain.....The drain in the garage does not accept any water into it so it pools on the floor of the garage (this same area where we walk the prisoners into the booking area). Often times officers have to take our push broom and push the standing water out of the garage to try and allow the floor to dry. If all of the leaves we've mentioned, or any ice and snow build up just outside of the garage door, an officer has to push the water with enough force to go over the leaves and snow to get the garage water into the main parking lot area.
In the next picture (one taken between two cruisers and looking towards the alcove) that is where we store much of our evidence and property that we may be holding for safe keeping. This space can only be access through our garage area and is extremely limited in size. This alcove area is also the same space that we store the bottled water used for drinking.
The third picture shows a small ledge within the garage that holds a couple of cleaning supplies we utilize for cleaning our cruisers. At times, this garage space is used to sort through possible evidence or other investigative property. When this happens, we have to remove the cruisers from the garage and park them in the limited spaces within the Town Hall parking lot.
The booking room located off the back of the dispatch area can not actually be considered a room. A small office wall was knocked down creating one open space in the hallway. It is this space that is utilized for booking prisoners. This area creates a serious hazard for officers, town hall employees and the general public. There are unsecured doors (due to fire egress codes) located within inches of a prisoner that provide immediate access to the town hall, outside grounds behind the police station and the police garage. We have on occasion had prisoners attempt to escape via these doors.
A very small office off this hallway (booking area) is utilized by the administrative assistant for processing pistol permits and completing administrative duties. The administrative assistant and any pistol permit applicants are immediately exposed to any prisoner being processed at the time. On occasion, some pistol permit applicants are turned away as a result. For the Administrative Assistant to access her office, she has to enter the booking space since it is located adjacent to the booking room.
If female employees need to use the rest room, they too either must wait until a person in custody is finished being booked, or they would have to enter the booking space to gain access to the women's locker room.
Booking areas should be free from objects that may be used as potential weapons against officers when dealing with a person in custody. As you can see, there are a large number of items throughout this space that at any point in time, could be used against an officer to inflict bodily injury.
March 22, 2017 - Tecton Architects Board Presentation
Overhead Site View
The Men's and Women's Locker Rooms
The next segment of our police station posts is about our Men's and Women's Locker Rooms. The first 3 pictures are of the Women's Locker Room which is adjacent to the main dispatch and police station entrance area. If a prisoner is being booked, the female employees must enter that booking hallway space to access their locker room.
Both dispatchers and our female officer share this cramped space. There are 4 lockers, one toilet, sink and shower stall in this space. The shower stall is currently used for random storage and is inaccessible for shower use, other than using it to hang uniform items on the door. There are mold issues, broken or missing tiles within the space and there is no heat or air conditioning unless the main door to the locker room is left open.
Both the female and male officers cannot hang their uniforms within their individual lockers because the locker depth is only 11" deep and a standard shirt hanger is 16" in width. This causes many officers to wear their uniforms to and from work. We often times encounter conditions at work that involve bodily fluids, filth and germs while in our uniforms and we're then faced with bringing our uniforms home to where our family's are.
The last 2 pics are of the Men's Locker Room. The Men's Locker Room has inadequate lighting and space to accommodate all of the equipment each officer needs for working. The urinal space is particularly narrow but causes even more of an issue when wearing a full duty belt.
Men's Locker Room Pictures Below
Women's Locker Room Pictures Below
March 1, 2017 - Subcommittee Presented to the Board appointed to oversee this project
Click on the link below (Building CommPP.pptx) and you'll have access to the Power Point presentation that we discussed at last night's meeting.
The Dispatch Area
The next segment of our police station posts is about our Dispatch area. The dispatch center is located immediately off of the lobby. This approximate 900 sq. feet houses a dispatch console (we are responsible for dispatching both police & the fire department), multiple file storage cabinets, and a single desk with a computer station. Due to increased file storage needs, advanced computer needs, radio, and emergency 911 equipment, the room is bulging with crudely placed objects to house these necessities.
The congestion of the dispatch center hampers the efficiency of dispatch services and limits any real functionality. To make matters worse - the design of the dispatch console prevents dispatchers from seeing or hearing members of the public who may enter the lobby.
Above: A view of our file storage, internet computer and half of the dispatch desk (on the right).
Above: A view of the front lobby, additional file storage and dispatch desk.
Above: A view of our copy area and dispatch desk.
Above: A view of a few radio units, 911 system and other stored items.
The Supervisor's Office
The supervisor's office is extremely cramped; approximately 7' by 8' in size (and if you've ever seen how tall Lt. Perry is, you'd understand just how small this space is). These cramped quarters accommodate a chair and desk with a computer, a single file cabinet and that's about it. Overflowing police equipment litters much of the remaining space in this office due to a lack of storage. This office is adjacent to the dispatch/main area of the police station.
Police Department Lobby
The primary entrance and exit for both the public and employees for the Sutton Police Department is the main front door that enters the lobby. The lobby consists of an approximate 6’ by 7’ space that is furnished by one metallic chair and a small candy machine. There is only enough space to accommodate approximately 3 persons standing, which would allow no other room for movement. There are no restroom facilities for the public and no desk space to accommodate those who need to complete paperwork. The lobby is entirely inadequate to provide necessary accommodations for the members of the public arriving at the police station for a variety of services. Pictured below you can see the lower right corner next to the front door of the police station which has suffered from water damage.
Here is a view looking from within the front of the police station out towards the main door to the parking lot area in front of Town Hall. Below the bulletin board to the left of the front door is an additional damaged wall area.
There is a partition separating the lobby from the internal police station. The partition consists of a door, wooden wall, and protective glass. There is no intercom or speaker system, forcing police personnel to speak awkwardly loud or open the door to communicate, defeating any physical security that exists. There also is no heat or other form of ventilation in the lobby. Below is a view as if you walked into the front door of the police station. Just beyond the glass is the main area of the police station which includes the dispatch area and department’s administrative offices.
Sutton Police Station – Building History
Our police station was originally constructed in 1982 as an annex to the municipal town hall building. The two buildings share a mutual parking lot that is encompassed by 15 dedicated parking spaces. This parking lot is currently incapable of accommodating parking for employees alone. In 1982 there were 9 full-time Sutton Police officers and a population of approximately 5,900 residents. Over the past 35 years, those statistics have nearly doubled to 15 full-time Sutton Police officers and a population close to 10,000 residents. This population further expands seasonally due to local campgrounds and recreational lake activity on Manchaug Pond and Lake Singletary.
In 1995 a formal Municipal Building Needs Committee was appointed and the committee conducted a study and examined 15 town buildings. Our police station was rated the “highest priority” for construction/renovation out of the 15 buildings in order “to continue to provide for the safety and welfare of the town citizens”. The committee also examined the option of renovation of the current facility and determined that “the cost of remodeling and the limitation of further expansion would make this a poor choice”.