The Salem Police Department building has served the residents and visitors of Salem well over the past 56 years. However, the time is past due for a new, modern facility to meet the needs of the Town and Police Department.
The original Police Station, the section facing Veterans Memorial Parkway, was constructed in 1966. The 14 officers who comprised the Police Department at that time moved from Main Street to the “new facility” in December 1967. As the Town experienced significant growth in the 1970s, an addition was completed in 1978 to accommodate up to 43 officers. A triple wide used office trailer was added in 2008 to house the Investigations Units. Today, the Salem Police Department consists of 102 full and part-time employees.
The outdated facility is used 24/7, 365 days a year and is extremely overcrowded, inefficient, non-ADA compliant, and repair costs have escalated for years. The inadequate space for people, technology, equipment, and evidence greatly affects the Salem Police Department’s day-to-day operations and advancement of services. The outdated, inadequate infrastructure affects employee safety, comfort, and expenses.
DEFICIENCIES OF THE current police station:
- Comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act
- Have a sprinkler system
- Accommodate interviewing multiple victims or suspects at the same time
- Accommodate the separation of criminal and non-criminal areas
- Have adequate sight and sound separation for juvenile and adult detainees
- Have public or accessible restrooms
- Have ventilation in male or female locker rooms
- The current building was not designed or constructed for modern technology.
- Overloaded electrical outlets throughout the building are a safety concern.
- There is inadequate space and temperature control for IT equipment.
- The HVAC system is inefficient with temperature controls improperly spaced throughout the building. This causes the system to overheat or overcool certain areas.
- There are numerous deficiencies cited in the annual fire alarm system inspection.
- The limitation of one sally port often leaves officers having to walk detainees in from the outside.
- There is consistent back up from the outdated plumbing system in the male locker room.
- The roof frequently leaks, despite only 12-year old roofing shingles.
- Soft flooring in the Investigations trailer is a safety hazard.
- The exterior of the Investigations trailer is rotting.
- The Investigations trailer's windows frequently leak during rain storms.
- The entryway from the main building to the trailer frequently leaks.
- Ice dams are often form on the main building and trailers.
- The Investigations Unit works out of a 25 year-old repurposed construction trailer.
- The lack of storage space forces the need to store vital records offsite, incurring additional costs.
- Detainee cells have been repurposed for records storage.
- The lack space for proper evidence storage requires utilization of outbuildings and conex boxes
- The interview room was repurposed for a supervisor’s office.
- The Victim Witness Advocate office serves as a back up interview room which causes a displacement of employees.
- The lack of locker space has forced the need to place lockers in the Investigation’s trailer.
- Lockers are too small to accommodate modern police uniforms and equipment.
- IT, radio, and data services are spread out throughout several locations in the building.
- The specialty units utilize sheds to store equipment.
- The roll call / briefing room also serves as the training room, meeting room, and conference room. The room only seats 17 people despite a Department with over 100 employees.
- Dispatch was only designed for one dispatcher; there are frequently up to four dispatchers on-duty.
- There are no work stations for the School Resource Officers.
- There is a lack of on-site Animal Control Service.
- Space limitations hinder grant opportunities for new equipment and/or resources.