|5/6/2020 2:19:00 PM|
New North Vernon Police station?
Report explains history, reasons why new facility needed
|TRAINING ROOM: Often used as second interview room; not secure/soundproofing from the entrance area; seating for six.Current space is 176 sq. ft; recommended 1000 sq. ft. for whole dept. meetings, training.|
|ENTRANCE: Seating is limited to three with no privacy for victims. There is no way to view those entering. Current area is 96 sq. ft; recommended area is 200 sq. ft.; seating for six; and security for staff office, at left.|
|In adition to the ones with photos, other recommendations included:|
K9 AREA: No dedicated area; kennel is built at officer's home; canine is kept in running vehicle during shift. Recom-mended footage: 100 sq. ft. with storage, canine grooming/washing station and a temporary kennel.
FIREARM/AMMO STORAGE: No truly secured area at present. High volume of ammo required. Recommended sq. ft. is 60 in a secure, climate controlled area.
RESTROOMS/SHO-WER: 2 restrooms for entire staff undesignated male or female; only one is ADA compliant; only one has hot water. Recommended footage is 100 sq. ft. with shower and eye wash station.
SERGEANT OFFICE: No room dedicated to Sergeants; no privacy for evaluations, complaints, informants. Recomended footage: 100.
As reported last week, the North Vernon City Council is considering the idea of building a new police station. Last year, a committee was formed to look into options for the department. NV Police Sgt. Craig Kipper led the effort and reported the consensus of Brad Bender, Brian Hatfield and Jack Kelley at the last Council meeting.
The conclusion reached was a new facility was needed.
The committee recommended a two-story 7500 sq. ft. building complete with basement . As far as the location, the group gave several ideas of where the structure could be located, either on city-owned or privately-owned land at various sites around town.
After a short discussion, the Council agreed to consider funding options and noted it would be at least a several-year process before construction could begin. Estimated cost of the project would be around $2 million.
The department has been located at 101 N. Madison Avenue in the heart of downtown since 1970. Since the structure was built 50 years ago, it has served a multitude of purposes in addition to housing the city's security force.
The 2300 sq. ft. building has at one time or another been home to the mayor's office, the clerk-treasurer's office, dispatch for North Vernon, city court and the North Vernon City Council.
Around 1980 the city bought the building directly across the street that formerly housed Jim Mick's television business. After some remodeling, the new "City Building" served as offices for the mayor, clerk-treasurer and utilities. 101 N. Madison continued to be home to city court until it was abolished in 1997; to city dispatch until a centralized 911 center was organized in 1994; and to the City Council until they began meeting at North Vernon's new Educational Training Center on West O&M in 2006.
Office space inside 101 Madison Avenue consolidated to just police business in 2007 after a major renovation that included three new offices; one dedicated interview room; and the installation of a fully compliant Americans with Disabilities Act restroom.
While the police finally had their own "space," their records continued to accumulate. At various times since 1986, records were stored at Fire Station No. 2 out by Walmart; the new city garage out by the airport; and at the former city garage on East O&M Avenue next to the Plain Dealer & Sun office. By April 2016, city government gave the police department full ownership of the East O&M garage. It is now used as a storage, training and physical fitness center for the police department.
By 2016, the department drew up plans for an expansion that would include a new secure property room, a vehicle processing area and two outdoor public restrooms that would support Stellar Plaza. The estimate for this 1000 sq. ft. addition was $200,000; however, no decision was ever made to go ahead with the project.
Last year, the department made a presentation to the City Council which included information in this article. Now, a year later, at the recommendation of Sgt. Craig Kipper and his committee, it looks as though the city will at some time in the next five years begin construction of a new North Vernon police department.
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