LOCATED AT THE corner of Pleasant and Stanwood streets, the public will get a chance to tour the Brunswick Police Department’s new station on Wednesday at a ribbon cutting and open house at 6:30 p.m.

LOCATED AT THE corner of Pleasant and Stanwood streets, the public will get a chance to tour the Brunswick Police Department’s new station on Wednesday at a ribbon cutting and open house at 6:30 p.m.

BRUNSWICK


After decades in the basement of the town office, members of the Brunswick Police Department next week will go to work in a brand-new building that officials say meets the needs of the town and allows officers to do their jobs better.


A PUBLIC CONFERENCE ROOM at the new $5.5 million police station in Brunswick.

A PUBLIC CONFERENCE ROOM at the new $5.5 million police station in Brunswick.

The public will get a chance to tour the new 20,000-square-foot facility at Pleasant and Stanwood streets, at a 6:30 p.m. ribbon cutting and open house Wednesday.


The town had long talked about building a new police station, or a new public safety building combining fire and police in one facility; and also discussed moving the department into an existing building.


When it was decided to build a new station, a long, controversial process to find the right location ensued.


High density storage for evidence at the new Brunswick police station. DARCIE MOORE/THE TIMES RECORD

High density storage for evidence at the new Brunswick police station. DARCIE MOORE/THE TIMES RECORD

The Brunswick Police Station Subcommittee recommended the current location in March 2011, on property now owned by the Brunswick Development Corp. and to be exchanged with the town for its current offices and police station at 28 Federal St.


Deputy Police Chief Marc Hagan walked through the new $5.5 million, two-story building with a reporter Monday, peering into room after room equipped with windows — including a few the length of the room letting daylight pour in.


The evidence room in the current police station. COURTESY OF BRUNSWICK POLICE DEPARTMENT

The evidence room in the current police station. COURTESY OF BRUNSWICK POLICE DEPARTMENT

Many in the department will not take windows for granted — they are currently working in a basement of the town’s municipal office building, which was built in 1961.


Hagan, who will mark 23 years with the department Oct. 3, remembers his initial tour of the current station.


“They’ve been talking about this seemingly forever,” he said.


Officers are excited about the new lockers, which should hold all of their equipment currently stored in front of or above the lockers. DARCIE MOORE/THE TIMES RECORD.

Officers are excited about the new lockers, which should hold all of their equipment currently stored in front of or above the lockers. DARCIE MOORE/THE TIMES RECORD.

Even then, “our space was not adequate. We got by.”


In the new station, the public enters a lobby where large glass windows separate the lobby and communications room. Beyond that point, entry into the department is secured and proximity cards required, including use of the elevator.


The locker room in the curret police station where equipment doesn't all fit in the lockers. COURTESY OF BRUNSWICK POLICE DEPARTMENT

The locker room in the curret police station where equipment doesn’t all fit in the lockers. COURTESY OF BRUNSWICK POLICE DEPARTMENT

The lobby will feature an ATM provided by Atlantic Regional Credit Union at no cost to the town, Hagan said.


Moving into the secured part of the facility, he pointed out a public conference room adjacent to the lobby as a major improvement: There is no privacy in the current station so victims have to talk to an officer or detective in the lobby or are walked through the station looking for an unused office, which Hagan said is often uncomfortable.


The new space provides a place for police to interview people in private, in an attempt not to re-victimize them.


The station has a training and roll-call room.


Currently, Brunswick Police Department members travel for training and the department has never hosted its own training.


“If you’re a training site, you sometimes get free spots in the training,” and provide more training in a time of tight budgets, Hagan said.


Marine wardens will have their own office with room for equipment.


And “we actually have a break room,” Hagan said. Officers are now eating meals at their own work stations, and in the same area where they book prisoners, “and it’s just not clean.”


There is an office for the department’s six patrol supervisors — much larger than the current space, where “they’re on top of each other.”


Supervisors have to deal with issues they shouldn’t be discussing in front of subordinates and now can conduct their business in private. The communications officers, who can’t leave the communications center, now have their own break room and restroom. There is also an upstairs conference room.


With two side-by-side holding cells divided only with bars currently, Hagan showed how the three new temporary holding cells will allow the department to meet requirements for detention facilities dictating that juveniles are out of sight and sound of adult prisoners.


Other features include a separate ammunition room, a room for firearms and an evidence processing room with proper equipment so detectives don’t have to wait for a sunny day to go outside to fume evidence for prints.


There are three small rooms upstairs for other agencies to use when requested, whether it’s the Good Morning program or Sexual Assault Support Services of Midcoast Maine.


There is a space for “dead records” — records the department has to keep for long periods of time, or even forever — and similar high-density shelving will provide storage for evidence, which is currently in a space not large enough.


A sally port will allow officers to drive in and out of the building to maintain more control of those in custody, especially in inclement conditions, and take the prisoner directly into the booking area from there.


It’s really about control, Hagan said.


“Yeah it’s a lot bigger than where we are now, but we need the space,” Hagan emphasized. “It’s about what is required; it’s about what we need to have a modern facility that meets the needs of the community. This building meets the needs of the community and we’re satisfied with that.”


“The detectives are extremely excited about the evidence processing area; the patrol guys are over-the-top excited about their lockers because they will actually have room for all their equipment,” Hagan said. “It’s just the satisfaction of the whole building.”


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