Any serious effort to preserve and enhance downtown Frederick will focus on keeping the city police department downtown. Carroll Creek park, the welfare agencies and their clients, the merchants and residents of downtown need the police nearby. That enables the police to be part of the downtown community, to know its people and be “on the spot” to promptly deal with issues downtown. The police department represents some 200 jobs that are important to the downtown economy.

City police have long since outgrown their space in the court complex and need new, larger and improved accommodation. The space between the back of the courthouse complex and the promenade of Carroll Creek Linear Park is the obvious location for new city police accommodations. This lot is county-owned and has been rejected on the argument that it is needed for future expansion of the county courts.

A major focus should be to get the city, the county, police and court officials together with park officials, and architects to examine a combined development plan that keeps the police and the courts together and houses them in premises which enhance and make use of Carroll Creek Linear Park. A phased plan for expanding police and court premises in this location as needed will be more affordable than present proposals to move the city police to a suburban location. It will also make for a much easier transition to new premises and keep the police adjacent to the courts they serve. A handsome set of buildings fronting the Carroll Creek promenades will be a major aesthetic and architectural improvement over the present surface car parking on the site.

Peter Samuel

Frederick

(15) comments

glenkrc

Peter Sam - I usually agree with what you have to say, but this time you're way off base. As one of nearly 70,000 Frederick city residents who DON'T live within a leisurely stroll of Carroll Creek or the Square Corner, I must say I don't put that much emphasis on any "serious effort to preserve and enhance downtown Frederick”. I care about the City’s providing quality services - law enforcement among them - to ALL residents, not just those in an increasingly gentrified and decreasingly diverse downtown.

The upcoming 2020 Census will likely mirror that of 2010, which showed that the LEAST diverse census tracts in Frederick City were: 1) Downtown from the creek to 4th St. 2) Hood College/Baker Park; 3) Downtown, 4th St. to 7th St.

To see the needs of those in the “suburbs”, it might we worth your while to take a leisurely stroll down Key Parkway or Hillcrest Drive after dark.

petersamuel

Glenkrc: you make a strong case for a police presence and quick police response to areas like yours. I think you'd get that if there was a branch police station built somewhere on the Golden Mile where there are lots of empty properties available. Maybe the police need to think of staging out of four or five branch stations focussed on problem areas. I simply think it would be foolish to completely abandon their downtown location next to the courts move the whole City police force to the old Trinity site on New Design Rd. Since the interchange of 70 was shifted to East St that site has been LESS accessible to 70 and US15 and hence to many other parts of the City. The sad fact is they have never seriously considered a phased movement to the back of the court house site which I favor, and they have never considered what you are suggesting, namely a branch station structure.

gdunn

Location of a police station is irrelevant to crime rates. Police don't sit in the station all shift and wait for calls, they aren't the fire dept. Most officers don't even see the station during an entire shift.

petersamuel

If that's the case why the big push to provide a new police building at a cost to the public of tens of millions of dollars. Why not rehab the present digs?

gary4books

I support the Alders on this one. Police need to be close to the highways to serve all of the city. The Trinity location gives them quick access to Market Street and the downtown. Mr. Samuel makes good points, but they are not conclusive.

petersamuel

Gary: It does give them access to Market St and downtown but poorer access than actually being in downtown because from Trinity they have to deal with heavily congested S Market St to get there. Trinity is quite isolated from the west side and northside of town because of the complexity of getting onto 70 and 15.

DickD

The State Police barracks were on alt 40, at the corner of Baughman's Lane. Too late to get that, but there is plenty of room nearby and much, much cheaper. All the police cruisers could be downtown in 2 to five minutes, not much different from travel time to places they would have to go, no matter where located. Plenty of parking for the patrol officers and for their cruisers. If you want to pay and arm and leg, make it difficult for all, put it in the center of town and pay through the nose.

richardlyons

Heaven forbid we move Frederick Police HQ to the suburbs, right Peter?

petersamuel

Right Richard. Yah got it.

PSUFAN

Building a police HQ downtown that covers everything the city police need is not possible. Why should downtown business owners and residents get more police coverage than other citizens throughout the city. Just use the current space the city police are using in the parking as a sub station for the downtown unit.

petersamuel

The back of the court house can provide plenty of room if you go up several storeys. In fact it allows both for a large police station AND court expension. Expanding there also means they don't have to move everything and everybody in one shot. They can expand their accomodation in phases. Being next to the courts makes for a heap of operational efficiencies since a lot of what they do is take suspects to and from court, getting warrants etc.

Burgessdr

Peter. Huh? Huh? The parking lot behind courthouse has about only 20 spaces. Hardly enough room for a building AND parking for 20 police vehicles. N

petersamuel

Donald: General dimension is 300ft EW, 200ft NS 60,000sf. Building to the property lines 5 storeys there’s a potential of 300,000sf floor space. OK say devote some space to green, aim for 150,000sf floor space. A recommended space standard for police buildings is 350 square feet (sf) per sworn officer according to which the present 150 officer force needs about 52,000sf. So there’s room to comfortably accommodate three city police departments.

niceund

Move the Community Action Agency to the Trinity site and put the police in the present CAA building. Either way, major reno work will be needed.

mr_twist27

Moving the Community Action Agency from downtown would cause an immediate decrease in crime and loitering downtown.

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