To that end, they’re hosting an open house of sorts on Thursday, giving tours of the structure to the public from 6-8 p.m. The Police Department headquarters is located at 515 E. 2600 North.
But that won’t be the end of the process. “We’ll continue to seek input from the citizens, and the City Council will continue to look at the request, continue to sort through that,” said North Ogden Mayor S. Neal Berube.
Officials have been publicly debating construction of a new Police Department building since around March and Thursday’s open house is the next step in the process. Particulars are still being hammered out and Berube said the issue won’t be rushed. Consultants are to be called in to conduct a seismic review of the structure, which sits near the North Ogden municipal building, and determine how long of a life it likely has.
But the mayor and other city leaders have tentatively discussed holding a bond election next year to generate funding for a new building pending a definitive decision on whether to move forward. And Police Chief Dirk Quinney said the structure has plenty of shortcomings. “This is 10 to 15 years overdue,” he said, noting that the building was built more for office functions, not as a police department building.
Touring the structure, Quinney noted some of the deficiencies:
Lack of division between police and North Ogden Justice Court functions, resulting in potential mingling of those having business with each entity. Ideally, the two functions should be kept as physically separated as possible.
Lack of storage. Some office space serves double duties given limited storage areas, including the office of Lt. Jeremy Hindes. “This is equipment for a new car that’s coming in. Haven’t got the car yet,” Hindes said, alluding to boxes stacked in his office given the space limitations.
Insufficient safety precautions. More needs to be done, Quinney said, to assure separation of staff and suspects brought in to the structure, among other things
Lack of interview rooms for suspects, victims, witnesses and others. More rooms are needed to avoid the possibility of suspects and victims crossing paths, Quinney said.
Lacking security and space in the North Ogden Justice Court wing of the structure.
As North Ogden grows, more officers will need to be added to the force, which also bodes for a new structure, Quinney said. Twenty-eight now work in the building, including 20 sworn officers and eight civilian employees.
Though design of a new structure has to be pinpointed, an earlier proposal that generated positive feedback from those involved in the probe into the plans has an estimated price tag of $11.3 million. Officials have mainly contemplated building on the land around the existing Police Department structure. The existing structure dates to 1963, though it’s had several additions since then.