Glenville’s police station is need of an upgrade. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports that the police department in Schenectady County was awarded $1.5 million in state funding to make major upgrades.
The Glenville Police Department building was built out of a former movie theater 31 years ago and is showing its age.
Police Chief Steve Janik said while the interior of the building has changed around over the years, there are some fixes that the department cannot make on its own.
“We’ve made some improvements in this building and we’ve tried to the best with what we have,” said Janik. “The reality of it is, though, is that there needs to be major, major improvements. And that means building changes in some of the areas where we are most vulnerable.”
Taking reporters on a tour of headquarters Tuesday morning, Janik showed the department’s holding area. There are two holding cells, each without doors, just steps away from where officers and employees work.
“On the other side of that wall you can see there is offices,” said Janik. “Those are the administrative assistant offices. These are civilians. These are civilians that are in direct contact with or in very close proximity with people who may be violent. This is a dangerous situation. This could become a very, very dangerous room.”
In the area where arrested people are transferred into the holding area, there’s only enough room for one vehicle. Shelves stacked with equipment line one wall and there’s at least one visible water stain on the ceiling.
Republican state Senator James Tedisco, who hails from Glenville, arrived at the station Tuesday with several town officials to announce a state Public Safety Grant of $1.5 million.
“They do a wonderful job with what they have here and their assets they have here,” said Tedisco. “It’s our obligation whenever we can, it’s my obligation as a public servant at the state level – and all our elected officials – to do everything we can to make sure that level of assets and availability in their home is safe for them”
The funding will help renovate and expand police headquarters. Glenville has 22 police officers in a town of about 30,000. The department is located in the same building as town hall and town court.
With the funding in hand, the department and town officials will begin brainstorming and working with architects to see what is possible in the future. In addition to upgrading the building itself, exterior security, such as fencing and improved lighting, was also suggested.
Glenville Town Supervisor Chris Koetzle said the improvements will help bring the facility “into the 21st Century.”
“These officers have a difficult job and very often under difficult circumstances,” said Koetzle. “But I’m proud that working with this town board, Senator Tedisco, and Chief Janik, we are finally able to deliver them a work environment that is worthy of the great force that they are.”