PITTSFIELD -- A $30,000 feasibility study contract has been awarded to a Connecticut firm to determine options for replacement of the city's 74-year-old police station on Allen Street.
"It's a small step, but a positive one," said Police Chief Michael J. Wynn.
He said that of four proposals submitted, Kaestle Boos Associates Inc. of New Britain, Conn., was determined by a screening committee to be best suited for the city's needs. Kaestle Boos, which is expected to begin the study Dec. 23 and finish in June, has extensive experience with public safety projects.
Those include police department projects in Cambridge, Holden, Monson and Watertown.
Wynn said a review committee composed of himself, police Lt. Jeffrey Bradford, Officer Jeffrey Coco, Bonnie Galant, the city's Community Development and Housing Program Manager, and Larry Tallman of the citizen Police Advisory Committee, screened the four proposals and chose two finalists.
Kaestle Boos and Jacunski Humes Architects of Berlin, Conn., were asked to make presentations of their study plans to the committee and other officers in the department. Wynn said Kaestle Boos was selected in part based on plans to integrate technology into a new police station.
The PPD has been struggling for years to operate within its cramped police station. There are no apparent federal or state grant sources to cover the multimillion dollar cost of a modern police facility, but police and city officials have began building support, lobbying lawmakers and planning for a project.
Wynn said the feasibility study would address the department's needs, the costs of construction and the cost of building on city-owned land or on a privately owned site.
Options to be considered will be a new police station or a combination public safety facility with police, the fire department and emergency management operations. Potential sites in the city also will be reviewed.
The police department today looks different and has different needs that when the facility opened in 1939. Then it had 60 officers, five reserves, a matron and no female officers. There are 117 police and civilian employees today.
The garage and areas around the station also are outmoded, police officials have said. The department now has 40 vehicles, compared to 14 in 1939.
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