by Terry Rogers
At a recent City Council meeting, Milford Chief of Police Kenneth Brown provided information on the new police facility progress. According to Chief Brown, the Citizen Police Facility Advisory Committee has been working with Becker Morgan to narrow down options for the new facility.
“Becker Morgan brought in three versions of the front of the building,” Chief Brown said. “They reviewed the façade and the brick and picked Delta brick. There were really only two choices, a darker one and a lighter one, but everyone seemed to like the darker one. I’m happy about that. That’s what I liked.” Chief Brown stated that the front of the building would also have an area where an emblem could be added.
Councilman Jason James asked if there were plans to do another presentation before council and Chief Brown stated that they had plans to do so in January.
“I was going to ask the exact same thing,” Councilwoman Katrina Wilson said. “I mean, I’ve been sitting here a very long time, and this is probably our third go around and never getting this far. I definitely want to feel we are part of the process.”
Chief Brown explained that most of the work done so far has been related to permitting and other items that were chiefly the responsibility of the engineering group. He also explained that they have been working on spacing needs and were able to use computer software to plug in where certain furniture would go in certain rooms. No final decisions have been made by the committee according to Chief Brown, although Mayor Archie Campbell mentioned that the committee was leaning toward windows that were slightly lower than those at Troop 7 but higher than normal in order to provide some protection for officers.
“And that’s all wonderful,” Councilwoman Wilson said. “But we are the elected officials. Therefore, people are going to come to us and want an update and I just think it would be wise for us to be included.”
Councilman Andy Fulton asked if there had been any changes due to the new policy allowing officers to take vehicles home.
“Well, I first proposed that, since that time, most of council advised me they don’t want to take that out,” Chief Brown said. “Just leave it the way it was. However, when we heard a substantial price increase of about $2 million for inflation, we had to cut some things. So, one of the things we did do is shrink the locker room. It is still adequate, especially with take home cars, but it is also still there. We did condense that down to cut square footage.”
In addition to cutting down the size of the locker room, Chief Brown explained that the offices planned in the new building were based on the number of police that were currently on the force and they did not plan to eliminate any offices.
“What we did is to shrink some of them,” Chief Brown said. “Even the hallway, by inches and believe it or not, that saves a lot of money. They are also working on the parking lot now, condensing that some as that would be a cost savings. The community room had an angle wall to it. They squared that up to save some room. It can still seat over 100 people, so we still have a large meeting room.”
Mayor Archie Campbell stated that one dealership told the city that they might need to go elsewhere to purchase the additional police cars.
“Chevrolet has stopped taking orders for cars and you know that is what we have been using for several years,” Chief Brown said. “And I’ve just gotten word that Dodge is doing the same thing; I think as of the 16th. But anyhow, we ordered the Fords. They’re the hybrid that doesn’t require plugging in, when the engine runs, it charges the battery. In town, it should give us 23 to 25 miles per gallon in town. That is a projected savings of $3,400 in gas per car per year, so although the purchase is costing you money, there are some benefits to it.”
Chief Brown stated that the change to allow officers to take cars home has already begun to show benefits.
“We have two more certified officers since we’ve added that benefit,” Chief Brown said. “So, that’s up to three and there is another officer currently with us who told us he was leaving and has now decided to stay.”
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