Curmudgeon's Corner

cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner

Village Buzz - September 30th...

Germantown, Police, Political, Quality of Life, Taxes, Village Board, Village Buzz

Germantown Police Department Building Follow-Up...

Several readers requested a timeline concerning the Germantown Police Department building process.  Chief Hoell had done just such a timeline for the Trustees and was kind enough to provide that for this piece:

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                Germantown Police Department Building Project Time Line  

1982:  Both the original Police Building (N112 W16877 Mequon Rd.) and Library - now PD Annex - were built.   The shell of the range was completed but funds have never been approved to date for completing the indoor range.

 

1994:  The Public Safety Committee discussed an expansion project for the Police Dept.  No action was taken. 

 

1995:  The Village retained the services of HNTB to conduct a Needs Assessment Study of all municipal facilities.  The study recommended building a new library and that upon completion the police department should expand its building by connecting both existing structures.  HNTB estimated the cost of the police department expansion at $750,000.

 

According to the Public Safety Committee notes, the police department building expansion, indoor range and communications center projects would be moved from 1995 to 1996. 

 

1998:  Garage addition proposal submitted.

 

1999:  A request was made to budget $725,000 for the building expansion to be completed in 2003.  The amount was reduced first to $450,000 and then $350,000 at the final budget meeting. 

 

2000:  Garage construction started with a $270,000 budget. 

 

2001:  Garage addition completed.   January 16, 2001 the Public Safety Committee tours new garage.

 

Fischer, Fischer Theis, Inc. hired for $4,400 to design the police expansion.

 

2002:  Fischer, Fischer Theis, Inc. worked with the $350,000 budget constraints, submitted and received final approval from the planning commission for the architectural design plans.  The Village Board split the amount of which $167,500 was allocated for 2003 to remodel the interior of the old library, and $167,500 was set aside to connect the two buildings in 2006.  The Village Board then decided at the final budget hearing to withdraw all funding since the limited money budgeted created a design that fell short of their expectations for the long-term use of the police department facilities. 

 

2003: The Village Board approved $750,000 in the Capital Budget to connect the police department in 2004.

 

2004:  Police staff, primarily support services, moves into the old library (PD Annex). 

 

2004 – 2005:  Public Safety gave direction to hire Plunkett Raysich for $9,200 to design a connection and remodel both buildings based on space needs to accommodate the PD until 2025.  The total project, to include connection of both buildings and a total remodel, came in at $3,200,000 for a 2006 construction date.

 

2005-2006:  Homeland Security grant received to install building security upgrades.  Items chosen from a security study of the buildings and the ability to reuse the items with the building project.  Items added:  fob key system, lobby security drawer, fencing, cameras/monitor, and windows. 

 

2006:  Village Board tabled the PD building project till 2007.

 

2007-2008:  Third conceptual design for PD connection and remodel of both buildings.  Zimmerman Architectural Studios was hired for approximately $12,000.   This project is ongoing.  Cost estimate for a remodel of both buildings and connection was at approximately $6,000,000.  Village Board sent the plan back to be reviewed with the possibility of doing this project in phases. 

  

Notes on a couple important issues, but not inclusive:  90% to 95% of all the police department furniture is original (26 years old) and/or secondhand donated items.  Most of the furniture was not designed for computer usage.  

 

The completion of the indoor range has been discussed for 26 years but never completed.

 

The radio is too small to accommodate the county radio project coming in the fall of 2009.  The current radio console is outdated and not equipped to handle the computers. 

The radio and communications equipment should be removed from the basement.

 

Air quality due to electronics needs to be improved. 

 

Men and Women’s lockers are over capacity.

 

The flooring is old, worn out and in poor shape.  Also in need of repair are some of the ceilings and walls. 

 

There is no central location to handle and store evidence.  The evidence processing and storage is handled between two floors and the storage should be removed from the basement. 

 

No room to function as an Emergency Operations Center.

 

Because staff has outgrown the buildings, interview rooms were taken over for office space.   The police department is in need of both hard and soft interview rooms equipped with both audio and visual recording devices to be able to record interviews per State Statute.  The rooms should also be equipped with emergency notification/alert call buttons.  

 

A secure training and conference room that can be utilized by outside organizations and other law enforcement personnel is needed.

 

The PD Annex is an old library; it’s still an old library which is occupied by PD personnel.  This building is in need of security updates.

 

Records are stored throughout the PD and Annex; there is no central records location.

 

There is a strong need to create a safe work environment for the PD employees and the public while in and around the PD building and Annex.  PD staff should be able to move around without the constant exposure to the outside by having to walk through the courtyard.  The entrance to the main PD building is hidden from the parking lot.   We need the front door to be seen by those in distress because they may not have the time or ability to read a directional sign or follow arrows.  

 

The overall buildings are aged and worn.  They were built with the security needs of the early 1980’s in mind.   The safety of the staff and public while at the police department are paramount, and creating a professional, efficient work environment is an important aspect of this project as well.  

 

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This provides the rest of the story over and above the request that the department find $330,000 of "unnecessary" expense to be cut so the village can balance its 2009 budget without a tax increase.

 

I believe that the board has been neglecting the department and that we will ultimately pay the price.  As is evident, the simple impact of inflation has caused the building connector proposals to escalate significantly over time. 

 

My apologies for such a lengthy Blog but all this information seemed quite germane to the story needing to be told.  

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