Police await expensive new digs
July 19, 2006
Lloyd Evans remembers when the Park City Police Department worked out of the cramped quarters of the Main Street building that later became the Park City Museum.
Then, in the early 1980s, the now nine-year chief of police says, the department shifted with other City Hall staffers to what was then known as the Memorial Building, one of the biggest on the street and the building that now houses Harry O’s, Main Street’s largest nightclub.
Evans now, however, is the point person as the Police Department, which is currently housed in City Hall, prepares to build a new police station, a facility that the chief says is needed to better accommodate the force and make the police and visitors more safe.
Evans, a 28-year veteran of the Police Department, says the police lack an operations center and the department instead is spread throughout several buildings. The administrators and officers are stationed at City Hall, where the police have space on the first and second levels. Some of their equipment, though, is kept in other locations, including the Public Works Building and storage units, Evans says.
"It will just be nice to bring all of that equipment into one space. Plus, we’ll have space to grow," Evans says in an interview.
The Park City Council recently authorized a contract with Jacobsen Construction, worth $5,750,000, one of City Hall’s largest contracts in some time, to build the police station. The building will span about 22,000 square feet, compared to the combined 12,000 square feet that the department is allotted between City Hall, the Public Works building and storage units.
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Evans says that the facility is expected to cost about $1 million above the contract’s value once fees and other costs, such as furnishings, are added to the sum. The facility will be built at the corner of Park Avenue, also known in that location as S.R. 224, and Snow Creek Drive, south of the United States Post Office on Park Avenue. It is a City Hall-owned parcel of land and the police station will front Snow Creek Drive.
Evans expects that crews will begin what he describes as prep work at the site as early as July 25 and he predicts that major construction will launch in mid-August. He forecasts that the building will be complete in about a year.
Evans touts the planned police station as a significant security upgrade from the department’s space at City Hall, where suspects are frequently marched through public hallways, sometimes through the building’s front door, as they are taken in for questioning.
Once the suspects are taken inside the new facility, Evans says that the police will have more space to conduct interviews, have the ability to separate victims and suspects as the police talk to them and have a place to administer breath tests for people who had been drinking.
In the new facility, he says, prisoners will not be near the public, lessening the chance that someone the police arrested could attack a bystander.
"You can never predict how in custody (a) person is going to act," Evans says.
Once the force moves to the new facility, Evans says, the police will continue to keep a presence in Old Town, often the busiest neighborhood for officers.
Evans says that the police will occupy space in the Old Town transit center on Swede Alley and he wants the Police Department to keep a kiosk on Main Street, next to Dolly’s Book Store.
Evans says that the station will be constructed in an environmentally friendly manner, a trend known as ‘green building,’ including employing a heating system that uses the Earth as its source and painting the roof white to help stabilize the temperature inside.
He expects that officers and other Police Department workers will be pleased with the facility.
"My anticipation is it will affect morale in a good way," Evans says.