– Allison Goldsberry
On the morning of her State of the City address Mayor Stephanie M. Burke announced plans for a new police station.
The new station will be located on the site of the current Medford Police training academy, which is right next to the current station. During her State of the City address, Mayor Burke said after a thorough search, this spot was determined to the best location.
If the project begins in March of 2017, the 35,000 square foot, three story facility should be completed by June 2019, according to a press release.
“I am extremely thankful for all of Mayor [Stephanie] Burke’s continuous efforts and that this has been at the forefront of her administration,” said Medford Police Chief Leo Sacco Jr. “Not only do the men and women of the Medford Police Department deserve this new, state of the art Police Headquarters, but our community does too and now we can call it ours!”
In November police union members protested outside of Medford City Hall over the working conditions at the current police station. They cited lack of locker room and workout space for female officers, shoddy building maintenance, and poor air quality, among other things. Some union members documented the poor working conditions in photos posted to social media.
The new police station will be a central location for administration, records, patrol, training, detectives, detention, community services and 911 communications. The building will also boast “fully integrated technology” and security systems.
“This project will eliminate current deficiencies and enhance modern, more efficient and code compliant booking and lock-up facilities, separate clean and bright locker rooms for female and male staff and an up-to-date evidence processing laboratory,” said a statement from Mayor Burke.
The new station will also have energy efficient HVAC and electrical systems in addition to water conserving fixtures.
“We’ve been focused on establishing a plan for a new facility since taking office and I am thrilled to announce that we will have a comprehensive, safe and efficient space for our officers. The new headquarters will complement the city’s focus on promoting energy efficiency, integrated technology and alternative energy solutions,” said Mayor Stephanie M. Burke. “After a thorough examination of multiple locations within the city, we have determined that the central site is an asset for our citizens and for the operation as a whole.”
The impact on the fire station, which currently shares space with the police, has not been publicly announced. Some firefighters say the announcement of the new police station leaves them with “many unanswered questions” regarding the effect on their department’s resources, including a training tower.