Back in 2011, Edmond voters approved a half cent tax increase for five years to fund the construction of a new safety center at 1st and Littler. After years of construction in the center of town, they cut the ribbon on that building yesterday. Officials will begin to move into the new safety center in the coming weeks. First, they opened the doors to the public for a one time chance to tour the building in its entirety. A few of us from the office took advantage of that opportunity and tagged along on the two-hour tour.
The tour began in the Matt Terry Hall on the first floor (in the future this space will be available for residents to reserve for meetings) before heading to the third floor Chief of Police offices and the 911 call and dispatch. A dispatcher spoke to us about how this new state of the art facility is a 100% improvement from their current place in the courthouse basement. The technology available to them was clear but I was most impressed to see there’s a quiet room so that when a 911 operator finishes with a particularly emotional call, they can take time to recover.
We went on to visit with officers and detectives on the first and second floors. We had a chance to peek inside an
interrogation interview room. In the current station just a two-way mirror separates an interview and those overseeing it. They now have multiple sound proof rooms with the ability to record and video. On the first floor we sat in the squad room where uniform officers began their shift each day.
Probably because it’s an area of the police station most of us on the tour wouldn’t ever see otherwise, our next stop in the basement was a tour highlight. That’s where we had the chance to see inside the jail! We entered through the gates just like a prisoner would (minus the handcuffs and tears) walking past the rooms for search, breathalyzer, and booking before entering real jail cells. It was interesting to see the meal prep area; a freezer and counter with about 6 microwaves. Meals in the Edmond jail consist of TV dinners, heat and eat. The detention officer explained to us that the current jail simply isn’t able to hold prisoners for more than a day or so. In the new facility they will be able to hold for the ten days the law allows before releasing or moving to the County Jail. So cool to see, but no plans for a return visit!
Every employee we spoke with expressed gratitude to the Edmond taxpayers for making the new facility possible. We learned that the building was designed with the growth of Edmond in mind. As our population increases so will the need for more staff. This building will be able to accommodate that for years to come. Thank you for opening the doors and showing us your new home.
Talk to you soon!