Frederick’s police department will have a new home after the city’s aldermen approved a contract Thursday night to buy a building on East All Saints Street in downtown Frederick.
The $6 million agreement for the Gov. William Donald Schaefer Building at 100 E. All Saints St. will allow the department to move from its cramped quarters as part of the Frederick County Courthouse complex on West Patrick Street.
The purchase of the four-story, 65,000-square-foot building will also include $50,000 for a feasibility study to determine the cost of the work that will be needed to repurpose the building.
The expected settlement date for the contract is Dec. 10, Assistant City Attorney Scott Waxter told the mayor and aldermen.
At Thursday’s meeting, Chief of Police Jason Lando said the deficiencies of the current building for the department’s size and needs was one of the things that struck him when he first took over the department in March.
Along with leaving the department’s officers “essentially working on top of each other,” the current building, which is rented from the county and has housed the department since 1982, presents challenges with the space and ability to store evidence for crimes they’re investigating, he said.
The current West Patrick Street headquarters is designed for a department about half the size of Frederick’s, Lando said.
The new building will offer space for events with the community, along with programs such as the department’s crisis response team, traffic safety team and multi-cultural liaison unit.
“As Frederick grows, we need to be prepared to grow with it,” Lando said. “The location at 100 E. All Saints will allow us to remain centrally located to ensure rapid response times to all of our neighborhoods.”
Alderwoman Donna Kuzemchak said she’s excited about the community space, which is a great way to do community policing.
Alderman Kelly Russell, a former FPD officer, noted that the department had been housed in its current building for 39 years.
Frederick Mayor Michael O’Connor thanked the aldermen for their support of the contract.
The move is an important step forward for the city and symbolizes a commitment to community policing and keeping core city services downtown, the mayor said.
With renovations expected, the city has budgeted $25 million for the entire project, police spokesman Allen Etzler said recently. If everything goes as planned, FPD could relocate by late 2023 at the earliest, he said.