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Officials: Waynesboro police department needs more room

April 15, 2004|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The Waynesboro Borough Council has begun discussion on finding more space for the borough's police department.

"We're just at the formative stage," Borough Manager Lloyd Hamberger said Tuesday. "We're looking at options."

Borough Police Chief Ray Shultz said the department's 2004 budget calls for a complement of 20 full-time officers. "We currently have 14," he said. The department also has three part-time cops.

The police department occupies the old part of Borough Hall. It was last remodeled in the mid-1970s, he said. At the time, the department had 18 officers.

He said the department needs, in addition to more storage and locker space, two new offices, one for the civilian secretary and one for the criminal investigator.

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"They move from room to room wherever they can find space to work," Shultz said. "They both need their own private room."

The criminal investigator often has to use the borough council's downstairs conference room for privacy when interviewing suspects and witnesses, Shultz said.

The lack of space also creates security problems, he said. "Sometimes we have suspects under arrest with no place to interview them except where members of the public can walk by," he said.

"It's hard for us to keep the criminal element separated from the public," he said.

The secure room where evidence is kept is also too small, he said.

Shultz said he would like space for in-house training sessions. One day recently about 12 officers came in for training.

In a perfect world, Shultz said, the police department would have its own building, one designed as a police headquarters.

Such a facility could far in the future, according to borough officials.

One option discussed was an addition over the first floor offices in Borough Hall. When the building was renovated, that roof was designed so an addition could be built over it, Hamberger said.

Kevin Grubbs, assistant director of engineering for the borough, said his second-floor office overlooks that rooftop. He said it measures the same size as his office, about 25 feet by 28 feet.

Another option officials discussed that could provide storage space for the police department is the old concrete block building that the borough bought from Bonded Applicators in January for $60,000. It is on Alley One off the back parking lot of Borough Hall.

Councilman Dick George said he has been in the police department a number of times to see the space problems. "They need more room," he said.

George said a long-term solution is a long way off. Meanwhile, the council will try to find some temporary space for the police department, he said.

"Someplace might turn up that we can buy," George said. "Everything depends on finances."

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