Top Ten Reasons Why a New Police HQ is Needed

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The current police headquarters has issues and limitations which impact police operations. Additional detail can be found in the Space Needs Analysis Study, completed in November 2017. 

1. Inadequate Building Space

• Current Space of Police Department is 34,416 square feet.
• Space Needs Analysis report identified required space for the Police Department is 81,123 square feet.

2. Inadequate Parking

• Existing parking contains 103 spaces that are shared with the Fire Department. The space needs study identified the Police Department requires 177 parking spaces.
• Lack or parking for visitors, and victims: Required to use off-street parking or off-site parking lots to visit the Police Department.
• Unsecured parking for staff: the public has access to Police Department employees’ vehicles.

3. Condition of Building

• The Interior of the existing building has leaks. Evidence, records and property are currently at risk for water damage.
• The current design prevents effective communication and operations.
• The secured parking garage does not have space for all department vehicles.
• The underground police parking garage has maintenance issues, including leaking, which is damaging squad cars, and concrete ceiling damage.

4. Officer Safety

• Booking room layout exposes officers to unsafe conditions; officers have their backs turned to arrestees at times during processing.
• Arrestees loiter outside building, creating potential safety issues for officers walking to their personal vehicles at the end of their shift.

5. Lack of Training Room

• The training room is shared with the Fire Department, which creates scheduling conflicts.
• The Police Department is mandated to conduct annual training. There is not sufficient room to conduct scenario based training.
• Due to a lack of devoted space, mats and training equipment must be moved and setup for every training session.
• The Police Department firearms range, which is not located at the current police headquarters, can only be used during business hours. This is because the range is located in a shared building (Fire Station 12) and use of the range impacts firefighters at the station. This limited time frame does not allow for training during evenings.

6. Inadequate work space

• Officers are not given adequate, suitable workspace to complete reports. The area does not allow for more than 4 officers to complete reports simultaneously.
• The workspace is open and conversations can be heard by everyone, severely limiting privacy during sensitive conversations.

7. Inadequate meeting/common space

• Lack of meeting rooms to complete Police Department meetings.
• There is not sufficient space to house outside agencies during critical incidents or major crimes. Regional task forces or the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office are required to use hallways and existing desks to conduct operations.
• Lack of room for offenders and victims to be properly separated.
• Interview room locations prevent privacy and conversations can be heard outside of the rooms.
• Lack of a community area for BEAT officers to conduct community engagement meetings.

8. Sally Port (Police Use Secured Garage)

• The sally port is filled with equipment, some of which can be hazardous. This prevents safe removal of prisoners from squad cars.
• Two vehicles do not fit well in the sally port at the same time, which prevents multiple arrestees being removed from squad cars simultaneously.

9. Evidence Processing

• The current area does not accommodate current and future technology.
• There is a lack of room to store necessary evidence equipment.
• There is a lack of area to process biological or DNA evidence.
• There is a lack of space to store evidence. Legislation of evidence storage is evolving and departments are required to store evidence for increasingly longer times.
• There is a lack of space to store vehicles involved in crimes. The lack of clearance prevents tow trucks transporting vehicles involved in crimes to the underground garage.

10. Technology Issues

• The current Department does not have space to accommodate current and future technology. The current computer server room is at maximum capacity.
• The current interview rooms must contain audio and video equipment for recordings. The current design of the building creates significant challenges in wiring rooms with audio and video equipment.