When Brecksville built City Hall and the current police station more than 40 years ago, the shared space worked well.
There were about 25 employees then, Mayor Jerry N. Hruby said. Today, there are about 130.
While official plans for the city’s new police station are still in the works, the goals are expansive. Hruby said the department is looking to add new features and to give officers and dispatchers more space than they currently have.
“It’s so cramped,” Hruby said of the current station.
Both former Police Chief Richard Mannarino and current Chief Michael Carlin said the station could use a new shooting range, among other necessities. Hruby said the current range is antiquated, and that modern departments focus more on combat shooting and less on target practice. He’d like to see a range that accommodates that.
Carlin also mentioned the need for updated parking, and Hruby said he’d like to see a secured area to help protect the department’s vehicles. There is no garage for police vehicles currently.
Here’s an overview of the other features Hruby said the new department would likely include:
- The officers need more space in the new station, especially in the locker room. There’s only one shower and just about a third of the lockers that are needed.
- The new station needs more accommodations for women. That includes women who work for the station, and those who might find themselves on the other side of the law. The new station will need restrooms and locker facilities for women, along with adequate cells for women inmates.
- The new station needs larger jail cells in general, to comply with recommendations on the amount of light and room cells should include. The station also needs cells to accommodate juveniles.
- The new station could also use larger offices, training rooms, a state-of-the-art interrogation room and somewhere to interview the public.
- There will also be space for dispatch, and the clerk of courts will move from City Hall to the station.
Hruby said the city also wants an area for a small display in the station to highlight the history of law enforcement in Brecksville. This would include photos of the department’s seven police chiefs and old equipment. Hruby said people tend to think of small town law enforcement like it’s shown on “The Andy Griffith Show,” but Brecksville has dealt with everything from homicides to violence at the old Veterans Affairs Medical Center over the years.
Over at City Hall, the old police station will just give city administrators some “much-needed space,” Hruby said.