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Feb 20, 2003 to Feb 6, 2013

New Police Facility


A short rant about the way I look at the new police facility.

Did we NEED new facilities? No.

It's the American way. It's not about needing anything, rather keeping up with the "Joneses" so to speak. "There is this fancy new thing, or that fancy new thing, I mean every other department has it. We need that, we're supposed to have that." In my opinion it's consumerism on a grand scale. It's not needed and I don't honestly think we will benefit from it one bit. How much of our money will they spend on fancy new devices and a sharp modern looking building? How will that enhance our protection or services? Do we think this new facility will actually benefit us in any tangible way?

This taxpayer money would have been much better spent on hiring more officers for foot patrol of the downtown area. To move officers father away from the heart of Brattleboro is foolishness. Downtown is in shambles right now, it's the worst I've seen it in terms of crime and drug use in all my years living here. Much of the drug use and sales could be thwarted by simply having an actually police presence downtown.

I'm reasonable and open to hearing how you all feel about it. I've had enough time to really process my thoughts on this and the above statements are the conclusions I've come to.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and let's keep our conversations civil and respect each other's views.

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I posted my opinion here a

I posted my opinion here a while back that they should have kept the police station downtown and move the town offices across town. i never heard why it couldn't be done...

 
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Because, I think,

Because, I think, in part, the basement part of the police department in the municipal building was outdated and moldy to the point of a major health hazard.

A police car at normal speed from it's new location would take only several minutes to reach Main Street. A police car with siren/flashing lights certainly is faster.

Also, the fire department and Rescue Inc are located downtown and very close to town respectively.

Moreover, the technological upgrades to assist future and long term BPD operations was better served by taking up and constructing in a newer building.

As best as I can tell, there is no detriment to response time and functionality of police operations having located to 62 Black Mountain Road, just off Putney Road. There are also the advantages of being closer to the roundabout at Exit 3 to easily reach Exit's 1 and 2 on I-91.

 
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Response Time

The police officers spend more time out and about than at their desks, so at any given time there is a police presence in or near downtown, regardless of where headquarters are located.

 
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Yes but..

Yes but they could leave the station on foot patrol if it was still downtown. Nonetheless I see your point and I guess logistically it won't make a huge difference in terms of response time but I do feel that having them be in the downtown area was in our best interest.

Also won't the mold/health hazards at the municipal building have to be addressed one way or another regardless? And wouldn't addressing these issues have been tremendously cheaper than building/renovating a whole new facility? Killing two birds with one stone.

And what kind of "technology upgrades" do we deem necessary and why? <- That to me is an example of consumerism and we should be progressive enough to ask ourselves as a town, do we truly need these tech upgrades and if so WHY and exactly how will we benefit from said upgrades. Are they having technological problems within the police department as it stands now? I don't think they are, and that to me is the issue. It's like upgrading to the new Iphone when your old one works just fine.

I don't pretend to think you or many others on here will have the answers as to the specs of the said tech upgrades, I'm just trying to have a conversation about it in an open forum and give a different point of view than I've heard or read so far.

Also it should be noted I fully acknowledge that I'm way late on weighing in on the issue.

 
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Tech stuff

All the tech upgrades are outlined in the purchase reports and summaries by the Town Manager at Selectboard meetings. We report on it here for each meeting.

You can read his notes at the Town's website, and also read the purchase orders and see the exact model numbers, etc. One of the more recent lists had everything for the dispatch folks - each cable, computer, monitor, chair, and so on is listed.

From what I can recall, it's mostly new desks, new phones, new radio towers, new dispatch desk and equipment, and of course, new space to work in.

 
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New Space

The municipal building, formerly the high school, has many limitations. A new facility can easily be set up to satisfy current standards of electronic and communications equipment. Currently, officers have to walk between rooms across a public hallway. The holding cells are inadequate. So is evidence storage. The basement is, well, just plain gross no matter what they try to do to mitigate its deficiencies. Renovation can only accomplish so much, especially in a very old building already occupied.

On a humorous note... on the 4th of July, the building was permeated by a certain "heady" aroma, subtle but recognizable, which stimulated a good amount of joking, because they had to improvise on where to temporarily "stash" a large number of recently confiscated plants.

 
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maybe i don't understand how

maybe i don't understand how much space the town offices take up vs the police operations in the municipal center... if the town offices moved, wouldn't there be quite a bit more space for evidence storage, new holding cells, and maybe remodeling so the officers don't have to walk across a hallway?

i feel like the town offices could have been moved, giving the whole of the municipal center to the police operation...

 
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Three groups - Town, Police, and Other

That might have been possible. I don't recall that option being discussed at the time. It was more likely, according to the select board at the time, that everyone moving out might be an option.

In addition to the town offices, there are a number of other non-profits using space at the Municipal Center - BCTV, Historical Society, etc. You'd probably would have wanted to move everyone non-police, then.

 
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Corporatism (Fascism) & Police

I had advised repeatedly during the Police & Fire approval process that a small police substation be set up on the SE corner of the new firehouse, with wide windows overlooking the intersection in front of the firehouse and the Elliot Street entrance of the parking structure ('Transportation Center'). I still think this really needs to be done. Video monitors? People just don't watch them ... can you blame them? There would be nothing like a police officer sitting at a desk and looking through a window at one of the most active intersections in the downtown area. Then maybe they could move a few video monitors over near Gouger's Deli on Canal, where there are police cars about 10% of the time, responding to calls. Or even a small 'booth' substation there.

 

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