Perryville breaks ground on new police headquarters
— Town officials broke ground on a new $2.8 million police department
headquarters Tuesday night with hopes of completing the project within a year.
The new building will accomplish several goals, town officials said during the groundbreaking emony.
“This will not only improve the program and the morale but it will also change the way the public views the Perryville Police Department,” Chief Allen Miller said. “We’re going from a double-wide (trailer) to an 8,000-square-foot building with the latest technology and safety features.”
Mayor Jim Eberhardt said cer- the new building would also make the town department compliant with federal regulations.
“It’s something as simple as holding cells,” Eberhardt said in his opening remarks, noting that the current police department only has one while the new building will have three. “There are laws about separating males from females and juveniles.”
The new building will also have a sally port, which allows for safer transfer of those in custody from the patrol car to a holding cell.
“With parks and playgrounds nearby, you want maximum control of an unruly prisoner,” Eberhardt said.
Perryville voted in May 2004 to launch its own police force. Gary Pierce was the first chief of police, starting operations in the Cifaldo Center on Susquehanna Avenue. Eberhardt said he and Pierce have actively searched for a better location as the department grew.
“I told Gary a few times, ‘It can be a trailer. It’s only temporary,’” Eberhardt recalled.
And it was a trailer that the department moved into in June 2005, at a cost of $58,000.
That 1,200-square-foot building on Otsego Street is now cramped, lacking proper storage and adequate space for its 13 employees, Miller said.
An even smaller trailer is coming in to operate as police headquarters during construction. The new building is going up nearby. Last week, the process began with the removal of the tot lot playground equipment. This first phase also includes stormwater management for the entire complex, which will include the Little League baseball fields and a new town hall.
“A lot of thought went into this,” Town Commissioner Robert Ashby said. “This is the first step in making our town the safest.”
A Sept. 7 story on A1 about a New York woman who died after swimming in Cecil County waters incorrectly stated the effectiveness of treatments for Naegleria fowleri. If diagnosed early, some treatments are effective but the mortality rate for the disease can be as high as 95 percent. The Whig regrets this error.
(L-R) Perryville commissioners Michelle Linkey and Ray Ryan III, Mayor Jim Eberhardt, Police Chief Allen Miller and Commissioner Robert Ashby break ground on the new $2.8 million police department headquarters.
Perryville Mayor Jim Eberhardt shows the audience the artist’s concept of the new police department headquarters at the Tuesday night groundbreaking ceremony.