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Hudson Valley

Plans for new Rhinebeck police headquarters

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Albany/HV: Plans for new Rhinebeck police headquarters
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After the Rhinebeck police department's home of 14 years was condemned, the force moved into a rented trailer. YNN's John Wagner has more on where they might be headed next.

RHINEBECK, N.Y. -- A heavy snow fall would have collapsed the longtime home to the Rhinebeck police, forcing the 14 part time officers into cramped quarters, temporarily, in 2009.

"The trim was starting to bend, the sheet rock was pulling apart in the corners, the floors were cracking," explained Sergeant Peter Dunn, officer in charge of the Rhinebeck Police Department.

"Not once have they complained about the conditions they're operating in," said Rhinebeck Mayor James Reardon. "They're housed in this trailer, they have a locker room in an old cell phone building, storage over in the village hall."

"Our focus is to go out and serve, protect the public," continued Sergeant Dunn. "And what happens is sometimes here we're working on things in the trailer just to keep it going."

The trailer has no showers, no interview rooms, no jail cells, only a bench to hold down three suspects with handcuffs.

"Our station is so small that we've got to adapt, we got to try to figure out how we're going to have two or three people arrested at the same time without talking to each other or intimidating each other," said Sergeant Dunn.

Now almost three years later, village officials voted to bond $900,000 toward constructing a real, permanent police department.

"It's a small town environment, but nonetheless, we aren't immune to crime," said Mayor Reardon. "We do have crime and we've noticed over the last three to four years a marked increase, I think a function of the economy."

The 500 square foot rented trailer would be replaced by a 2,200 square foot home. Officials hope to put the project out to bid later this month, have shovels in the ground in September and doors open by the end of December.

"When it comes to police and fire, we have no intention of cutting corners and scrimping," said Mayor Reardon. "If we're going to control our budget and save, we're going to have to do it in other areas."

Residents have one more week to file petitions to object, otherwise, the plans move forward.

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