Much more space. That's what Master Police Officer Greg Kotterman, crime prevention officer, values most about the newly renovated Mount Vernon District Station. During a tour this week, he said, "The biggest addition is space. We have so much space to work with. There's just generally more space for everything, the hallways aren't all cluttered anymore"
In the old station, 12 shift supervisors shared one office and one desk. Each of the three shifts now has its own office with four desks apiece. The police never had a lunch room; now they do. The work-out room was part of the original locker room; now it has its own space.
The locker rooms are much more efficient, according to officials. Whereas the old lockers were a few feet tall, they now rise to the ceiling and include foot lockers underneath. There are benches for officers to sit on. Three conference rooms are available for public meetings. Those rooms can be booked through Supervisor Gerald Hyland's office.
THE STATION has a new security system with all officers and staff using electronic cards that can be programmed and de-programmed. The entire building has been wired for Internet access, and patrol officers now have a room where they can file reports and check their e-mail; something they never had before.
The report room, where paperwork is processed at the end of a shift, is twice as large as what they had before. There are not only one, but two secure garages for prisoners to be brought in and transferred.
The cell block has been redesigned as well. Kotterman said before it was claustrophobic, now the processing area is twice the size. He said that officers were moved into other parts of the building during the construction, and the process was very efficient.
"It's an amazing change. I've worked here since 1989, and you hardly recognize the place," said Kotterman.
The new headquarters was opened to the public last weekend during the annual Community Day celebration.