Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Police Await Bigger, Better Facility

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Police Await Bigger, Better Facility

Article excerpt

Canonsburg police officers soon will be able to stretch their legs in a new, bigger department in the borough building.

A $1.3 million renovation will update the interior of the building -- bringing it up to code, adding new security features and expanding department space.

Council President John Bevec said the project has been in the works for a while, so the building can be "more public friendly."

The police department in particular is the focus of the renovation because of its cramped space in the basement.

In the current layout, officers are split among the basement and first and second floors. The small offices don't allow for privacy and make it difficult to handle prisoners, Mayor David Rhome said.

"[The basement] is not a great place to work. ... The new space will be someplace people wouldn't mind going to work," Mr. Bevec said.

Updates to the department have been a long time coming, Mr. Rhome said, and the department will double in size.

The new department -- "renovated from one end to the other," he said -- will consolidate police staff on the first floor and include new holding cells in a confined area and interview rooms.

Chief R.T. Bell is excited for the bigger space and said having the department on one floor will improve efficiency and "make things flow better."

Besides the expanded police department, major changes will include converting the second floor from an old library to offices, adding handicap-accessible bathrooms to meet ADA accessibility guidelines and installing security features, such as a sprinkler system in the lobby, an emergency generator and access control doors.

Borough manager Terry Hazlett and council made the new safety features a top priority for the renovation. Updating the police department and bringing the building up to ADA code will be tackled first; if there's money leftover, council will have offices for the fire department and emergency management built on the third floor.

The renovations solidified after the Greater Canonsburg Library, which had occupied two floors in the building, moved last year to a new facility two blocks away. …

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