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Better function goal of police station plans

Friday, August 20, 2010

McCOOK, Nebraska -- McCook Police Chief Isaac Brown is excited for what the proposed municipal facility has to offer his department, but also because he is confident it is what McCook wants.

"This is one of the things the public wanted when they voted to pass the half cent sales tax. The City Council is merely following through with what the public said was a priority and communicated that they wanted the dollars spent on," said Brown who is hopeful the project reflects that and receives voter approval in November.

"There are a number of things this new facility will offer that are vital for us to do a good job. For one, the ability to bring victims and witnesses into a secure and private environment, where they won't be within sight of each other. No way to avoid it currently," said Brown. The new facility would offer interview rooms on each side of the police department's portion of the building, not only away from each other but also accessible via different entrances.

"Having interview rooms to gather information will be a real blessing. If someone comes in today to file a report they have to do it in the public waiting area or in the middle of the office area. No privacy either way and typically disruptive of any other work that is going on," said Brown. Brown went on to explain that the problems were compounded when more than one officer was trying to conduct an interview or gather a report at the same time.

Another major issue the proposed facility would resolve is having a dispatch center that is large enough to accommodate the equipment the department uses. Radio and 911 equipment also will be stored in a room designed to hold it, not in a storage closet as it is today. "Cleanliness and temperature is an issue with storage of our equipment right now and that's expensive stuff," said Brown, who believes the current situation is having a negative impact on the life of some of the department's most expensive equipment.

Brown is very pleased with the proposed layout for the dispatch center. "It will allow us to have our 911 dispatchers in a controlled environment. Right now everyone walking down the hall or coming in the front door disrupts the dispatchers' functions. It is very difficult if you're trying to dispatch an emergency and you have a lot of background noise going on around you. This new building would put our dispatchers in an environment that will allow them to do the good job they are trying to do," he said.

"When you interview someone who has been traumatized by a sexual assault, a standard interrogation room is not the setting they want to be in. You want them in a much more comfortable, non-threatening environment. Similarly, with children, you want them in a comfortable setting," said Brown when describing the role the new facilities juvenile-sexual assault interview room would play.

The new floor plan has approximately 10,000 square feet assigned to the police department, roughly double the existing space, and offers a reception window for the police department's administrative assistant in the shared lobby. Brown is confident the new plan will not only eliminate the disruption of the dispatchers but also be much more inviting and increase the service level to the public.

The shared lobby also will have public restrooms. Currently the only bathroom in the police department, for staff or the public, is in the secure and time-consuming-to-access jail area.

In addition to the lobby restrooms, the new facility would have a bathroom just off the dispatch center, one in the main hallway of the police department as well as shower equipped men and women's lockers.

"We have no locker room now, only the bathroom in the jail. The new locker room is exciting because it allows our guys to utilize the fire department's fitness room and not have to go home to shower. The same is true if an officer simply gets dirty on the job; he has to be sent home to change. We have no locker space currently," said Brown.

The police department's evidence is being stored in three different buildings right now and the proposed facility will allow the department to bring all of it under one roof. Brown said the new plan will offer a much more structured environment that will make processing and packaging evidence, the way the law requires it to be done, much easier to accomplish. The new layout also includes a sally port area that will allow officers to bring in evidence, or prisoners, indoors, increasing both security and privacy.

Vehicle parking for squad cars will be covered, eliminating sun and other weather related damage to the vehicles. "We have roughly $10,000 worth of electrical equipment in these cars. Those are items that don't like heat; having them in direct sun shortens their life span," said Brown.

"This could be the first time we have ever had a facility that is designed for police function. It would allow us to perform our duties in the way they need to be done. Every facet of this building allows us to do a better job. It is, really, a unique opportunity to get the facility we need without a new tax and the first time I have seen that in my lifetime. We may not see it again," said Brown.

The Municipal Facilities Election will be Nov. 2, 2010.

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the rich peeps may want it

but the rest of us look at this as

more biscuits fo da pigs

you wanna work out?

join the y like the rest of us

-- Posted by Dick on Fri, Aug 20, 2010, at 10:11 PM

Sad comment Dick. Some day, sooner or later, you'll need a police officer or a firefighter or an EMT to come to your assistance. You will expect them to be there in seconds regardless of what time of day or night it is and rain, snow, sleet or hail. You will expect them to be in excellent physical shape so that they can handle whatever the situation asks of them. You will expect them to do alot of things yet you find it amusing to post comments on here referring to our public servants as pigs. I think its sad that there are people like you out there that have absolutely no appreciation for these brave public servants who literally put their lives on the line every day they go to work to protect people like yourself regardless of how you feel about them. I'm just thankful that there are those out there that still appreciate what these people do for us. Your name fits your attitude DICK!

-- Posted by McCook Supporter on Sat, Aug 21, 2010, at 3:00 PM

please remind me if you even live in Nebraska

and your name fits too

supporter needs a wash

-- Posted by Dick on Sat, Aug 21, 2010, at 7:34 PM

Wow Dick, could you BE any more abrasive? It appears that you have had a run in with the law therefor you feel the right to call the civil service men and women "pigs". If this is the case then you have a biased opinion and there shouldn't be any credibility acknowledged from your comment. Because you seem to use GANG language I'll break it down for you in a manner that you might understand without using any large words to confuse you.

If... you... have... a... problem... with... the... police... then... what... you... say... may... not... be... fair... as... you... might... be... speaking... out... of... anger.

I think that if you are an educated person, (and from what I've seen, most Nebraskans are), you might be able to use a bit more delicate wording and still get your point across. I suspect that when you make that 911 call, you'll think back to that comment and be happy that no one knew who you were. How embarrassing it would be to look at your rescuers knowing that you consider them pigs.

No matter what your opinion of someone else, you should never sink to name calling, it takes you right out of the category of credibility and sides people against you, just some information for your future negative postings.

-- Posted by PensiveObserver on Sun, Aug 22, 2010, at 10:32 AM

I am not convinced about more spending especially durring such a bad economy.

That being said it's people like Dick who will call the cops first time something goes wrong and he needs them to save him.

-- Posted by Chaco1 on Mon, Aug 23, 2010, at 9:08 AM

I think Dick's first name says it all...end of that story. There will come a time when he needs our public servants and he'll just hope that they don't know that he's the one making rude comments about them. As far as being convinced about more spending as Chaco1 states, I do understand the concern. However, and PLEASE correct me if I'm wrong, but from the reading I've been doing on line about the project there will not be any "more" spending. The project is going to be paid for with the current sales tax. No new tax, no increase in property tax. I think a recent article stated that there would be a bond for just under 4 million and the bond would be paid back over the next 7 years with the current city sales tax revenue. There is really never a "good" time to spend millions. However, out here in Colorado, people are building left and right because the construction costs are at an all time low. Just the way I see it.

-- Posted by McCook Supporter on Mon, Aug 23, 2010, at 1:58 PM

I think the cost of construction has taken an average of 7% increases annually over the past 6 years. When I say think, I mean know, so IF there is a need for a new facility, and there is in my opinion, then tomorrow is the cheapest time to build, followed by the day after and so on. If we wait until the country is out of peril then we may well fall into disrepair mode..... There have been many towns in the area that have put projects off in wait for a brighter tomorrow but have yet to see that time come. Their towns fall into disrepair which in turn causes business opportunities to pass them by leading to a grimmer tomorrow. The WORST thing we as a City can do is let it ride until we can't dig ourselves out of the pit of dispare. Its a bit like having a tooth ache, no one saves up money specifically for that unexpected trip to the dentist, but when the tooth ache gets bad enough, we find a way to get it fixed.

-- Posted by PensiveObserver on Mon, Aug 23, 2010, at 9:35 PM

Good to see that the boys can share an exercise room. Better than the 3 separate ones that were in the plans for the West Q location.

It should be interesting to see if the city can sell the taxpayers in our fair city that this can actually be paid for by sales taxes. What if the bottom falls out of the economy here in this area? Sales tax receipts will go down and how will it be paid for if receipts are down so low that the payments can't be made? Just wondering?

This is a point that should be brought out at the special meetings.

It is going to be a hard sell, especially with the senior citizen crowd! The city had better get busy and convince them to vote for it.

The school system finally figured that out, on their 3rd try for their bond issue.

They need to remember that the younger crowd votes at a much lower percentage than the "older" voters. They will need to convince the over 35 or so group and get them out to vote and they may just have their new building.

Another question that needs to be addressed.

Will there be less street repairs/resurfacing since sales taxes also fund some of this?

-- Posted by goarmy67 on Mon, Aug 23, 2010, at 11:20 PM

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