Written by Linda Portney Goldstein Friday, 09 December 2011 00:00
Last Thursday evening, Police Commissioner James B. Duncan welcomed attendees to “an historical event for the community and the Port Washington Police Department.” The occasion was a special meeting of the commissioners called to introduce to the community the Port Washington residents who have been appointed to the Building Committee. The purpose of the Building Committee is to assist the commissioners in determining the best way to provide more space for police headquarters.
The appointees are Milan Schiff, Stan Ronell, James Cowles, Mark Hanlon, Reid Markham, John Immitt and Fred Blumlein. Commissioner Duncan invited the committee members to inspect the police headquarters building during the next month. Mark Hanlon was asked to submit a proposed mission statement for the committee’s approval at the first meeting in January.
In 2010, the commissioners attempted to purchase land on Channel Drive for a new headquarters. When the plan was presented to the community for comment it became apparent that the move was not supported by the public and the commissioners stepped back from the plan. However, the need for more space has become more acute.
This time around, the commissioners decided to engage the community in the planning process for a larger police headquarters. With this objective in mind they solicited volunteers. As Commissioner Dave Franklin said, “We wanted diversity on the committee, engineers, architects, project managers, attorneys, local business people, long time residents and people that have been involved with the community.” Police officers will also be part of the committee.
Police headquarters is now a 10,000 square foot building on Port Washington Boulevard with limited parking space. It is estimated that the Police Department needs 20,000-25,000 square feet in order to continue to operate efficiently in the long term.
Commissioner Duncan said, “The primary goal of the committee is to provide the best facility at the least cost to the taxpayer.” The first task of the committee will be to determine if the extra space can be added to the current location or if a new site needs to be acquired. Once this question has been answered, the committee will assist the commissioners in moving forward to the next phase, acquiring land if necessary, building design and evaluating proposals.
On behalf of the commissioners and the entire department, Commissioner Franklin expressed, “heartfelt appreciation to all the volunteers who stepped forward to assist with this very difficult task.”