About 15 folks from Wards 1 & 2 came out on a rainy Saturday morning to the Safety Center to hear about the current facility and its limitations from the police and fire chiefs, plus Joel Walinski and Kathleen McBride (many thanks to these city staff members for taking the time to come and present information and answer questions); thanks also to Ward 1 Council guy Jim Pokorney and councilors Rhonda Pownell and Jon Dennison.
A snapshot about space needs: when the Safety Center was built in 1971 the police department had 7 employees and no computers; now there are 21 employees and much technology from computers on desks to fingerprinting. Fire department staffing has remained about the same but the amount of equipment is about 1/3 to 1/2 more than 1971 and the size of vehicles has increased. Aging vehicles needing replacement will be larger, too.
The Safety Center Task Force holds its final meeting this week on 6/11 with a report to the Council on 6/22.
Attendees asked some very good questions about facility needs, location, reuse of the current site as well as whether or not a new Safety Center should entail a bond referendum.
Beyond the Safety Center, questions about trees and tree protection, skateboards, communication with the public, working with boards and commissions, land development regulations, transit and probably a few more things I didn’t have a chance to write down. Thanks again to everyone who came.
I also had a chance to ride my bicycle down the shiny new bike lanes on 5th Street to get to the Safety Center – a good improvement.