Thursday, October 4, 2001

New home for Cape Police takes shape

Published in the Current

The Cape Elizabeth Police Department’s new home is taking shape and should be enclosed by winter, Chief Neil Williams said.

The new building, on the site of the old police and fire station on Ocean House Road in the town center, will have 9,300 square feet of space. That is roughly the same
size as the old building, but with the fire department in its new station across Jordan Way, “We’re going to have it all to ourselves,” Williams said.

Williams said the decision to build a new station, rather than renovate the old one, was a matter of bringing that structure into compliance with current building codes, including the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“The corridors and ramps that they were going to have to put in were going to need a lot more space,” Williams said.

The town invited bids to raze the police station, and build a new fire station and a new police station, as one project, for a total of $2.5 million, Williams said.

The new station will not only be built on one level for easy access, but also will have an appealing entrance area, including a small courtyard between the road and the building.

“It’s going to be more customer service focused,” Williams said, describing the dispatch area, with its split desk so people entering the station can speak face-to-face with a dispatcher or other officer.

The officers also will have better space, with stronger security and more computers and office space, as well as better space for processing witnesses and suspects.

“We will have a larger hold-down area,” Williams said.

Other amenities will make the building more welcoming to officers and members of the public alike, Williams said. The building will be air-conditioned, and there will be a conference room for police meetings as well as community use.

“We’re all looking forward to it,” Williams said.

The Cape police department also is working with the FBI, as are most U.S. police departments, to investigate the events leading up to the attacks on Sept. 11 in New York and Washington, D.C. Williams said.