Moving forward with public safety project
Grand Junction City Council members agreed to a plan for a new public-safety center Tuesday — a plan that would combine the city’s police headquarters and the 911 dispatch center in one new building to be constructed on a city-owned lot at the corner of Fifth Street and Ute Avenue.
Good for the City Council. It’s high time for the project to move forward.
In answer to the query this week from one city resident — “Is it that critical that they need to do this right now?” — the answer is an unqualified “Yes.”
The overcrowded existing police headquarters raise serious potential problems for victims encountering criminal suspects, for questioning multiple witnesses and for protecting the chain of custody of evidence in criminal cases. The 911 dispatch center is a maze of cords and computers that is barely adequate for existing personnel or current technology.
The fact that the city will be able to carry the annual payments from the $32.7 million in certificates of participation for the project without raising existing tax rates is equally important.
One can quibble with the council’s choice among the eight options presented. In fact, arguments could be made for and against each of the options.
Combining the 911 facility in a new building with the police headquarters, and expanding the existing main fire station and Fire Station No. 2 make a good deal of sense.
There’s been enough carping and hand-wringing about this much-needed project over the past couple years. We applaud the City Council for getting on with it.