Wednesday, April 23, 2014

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Hudson Valley

Pittsfield seeks to improve police station

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Albany/HV: Pittsfield seeks to improve police station
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The City of Pittsfield's mayor wants a new police station, saying that the current building is old and outdated. YNN's Madeleine Rivera took a tour of those headquarters and has more.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- "We want a facility that's going to help us address 21st century public issues," said Mayor Dan Bianchi.

But, as it stands, the police headquarters are far from being the modern facility that the city wants.

"We have a building that was built 70 plus years ago. So you can imagine things have changed," said Bianchi.

Like the number of employees and the high visitor traffic. The building was originally built for 40 to 60 employees. Now, there are more than 100 people in the police force. And the space is not enough.

"For the most part, the infrastructure hasn't been addressed in years," added Bianchi.

A point that a spokesperson from the police department says is proven by women's bathrooms that were clearly an afterthought, a hallway that doubles for a storage room, the lack of handicap accessibility in the building and a former firing range that's unusable because of lead contamination.

"We're asking them to address 21st century public issues in a facility that isn't compatible with the technological advances nowadays to fight crime," said Bianchi.

While the need for a new police station has been acknowledged, there is no decision as to whether they'd improve the current building or build a completely new facility.

"This is sort of the initial step to put feelers out to see what's there and see what the possibilities are," said Katie Roucher from the Police Advisory Committee.

The city will reach out for state and federal help in order to fund this project.

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