Friday, March 30, 2012

Public Safety No longer Job #1

With Mayor Foster backing away from a new public safety facility, he has resoundingly indicated public safety is NOT job #1. It is obviously way down on the Mayor's priority list.

Since no one at the Police Department will speak up for fear of their jobs, and Chief Harmon is unlikely to step into the spot light and say what needs to be said about the current facility, let me take a shot.

I returned to the City in 2006 for a five year run at completing the technical implementation of the Police Department's Dispatch and Record Management Systems.

Shortly after settling in I noticed plaster foaming away on inside exterior wall, the roof leaked in the secure computer room. My area supporting 13 people, an open work space with cubicles, was cobbled together with cube walls of different colors from different manufactures purchased used from an office supply house. They were held together in some cases with cable ties.

It was necessary to remove several dead rats from the overhead dropped ceiling.

Electrical outlets were supplemented with power cords, often several linked together.

The equipment closets located throughout the building are not aligned vertically making wiring and adding facilities difficult and costly. Bundles of abandoned wire hang from pipes and lay in dropped ceilings because it is to costly to remove.

The data center air-conditioning was 17 years old, beyond its useful life, it was replaced with a commercial (not data center grade) system with a life expectancy of on only 7 years for cost purposes and in anticipation of a new facility.

We added a third small auxiliary generator to back up one of the primary generators, since it had become unreliable, and the other primary generator was leaking oil.

The Communications Center on the 4th floor frequently suffered from roof leaks as did Chief Harmon's own office, until extensive roof repairs were made. There were roof issues every spring I was there.

The Building Security system, now at least 15 years old is not reliable.

Elevators are old and require significant repair. It is not uncommon for civilian employees coming to work to find themselves on an elevator with a handcuffed juvenile subject. Very unnerving.

The facility consists of two buildings one constructed in 1950s and the second in 1970s. They are not aligned , so wiring and plumbing are expensive to install and maintain.

The 80 year old Annex across the street, given a true inspection could easily be deemed unfit for human habitation.

No one at the PD is looking for a monument to Law enforcement, they just want a decent and safe place to work. What the City needs is a new Public Safety facility.... Not a new Pier.

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