Sandwich Police had hoped to move into their new police station this summer, but the date was pushed back due to supply chain issues.
Police Chief James Bianchi, however, is still confident the service will be operating from the new facility by the fall.
The current station at 308 E. College St., to which the department moved in the early 1970s, was once a dairy for Sandwich-area dairy farmers and has less than 5,000 square feet of floor space.
Bianchi said that in addition to the lack of space, the old dairy has problems with its plumbing and HVAC system, is in a less than ideal location, and has outdated infrastructure and mold.
The new station, in a building that once housed a custom staircase fabricator at 1251 E. Sixth St., will have between 12,000 and 14,000 square feet of floor space to better accommodate the needs of the department and allow at least 50 years of growth, according to Bianchi.
The City purchased the building on Sixth St., along with an adjacent 2-acre lot, in 2016 for $480,000. To fund the renovations, the city sold $3.2 million in bonds, which will be repaid over 20 years. Mayor Todd Latham said the funds will be repaid with revenue from the city’s general fund.
“It’s a historic thing for a small town to spend $3 million and change,” Bianchi said. “That’s why we have to maintain it. People trust us with the money to do it, so we have to make sure they get what they need.
The construction component of the renovation is almost complete. A box-style enclosure for officers, offices for city officials, meeting rooms, a training area for presentations, and space for other law enforcement agencies or community groups all have been renovated and furnished.
Bianchi said delays caused by logistical issues with IT equipment are the main factor behind the slowdown in construction.
The new station will have a computer room that will securely house all of the city’s servers, phone systems, and other technology, with cyber protection and fire suppression systems that the city does not currently have.
Once the computing is installed, Bianchi said they can slowly start moving from the old station to the new, and test the system in beta before shutting down the old one and moving it completely.
“It’s going to be a balancing act for a little while,” Bianchi said.
The new station is equipped with a monitoring center. Cameras have been installed throughout the city, in schools, city hall, the sewer department, the water department and the street department, and will all be monitored at the new police station.
Bianchi said he would also like to add surveillance cameras downtown in the future.
The new station is equipped with two holding cells, which will hold up to 12 people at a time.
Bianchi said the new facility will allow his department to be better prepared for major events.
“We’ve never had the ability to work on a major event before,” Bianchi said. “People will say, ‘That never happens here.’ Well, look at Highland Park. We need to prepare as best we can for these incidents.