News

Council favors Sherman Avenue lot for new police headquarters

Small site seen as best option for urgent but elusive project

Palo Alto's glacial journey toward its most urgent priority -- a new police headquarters -- may finally reach its terminus in a nondescript parking lot on Sherman Avenue.

The lot, which sits next to the Santa Clara County Superior Court and just south of California Avenue, emerged on Wednesday as the most promising candidate for the $47-million project that tops the city's list of infrastructure priorities.

Once complete, the new public-safety building will allow the police department to ditch its cramped and seismically unsafe headquarters at City Hall and share the new facility with the emergency dispatch center, Palo Alto Fire Department's administration, the Emergency Operations Center and the recently established Office of Emergency Services.

The idea of replacing the existing police building first surfaced about 30 years ago and the effort has proceeded in fits and starts ever since. On Wednesday, the City Council signaled its desire to finally see a breakthrough when members informally endorsed the option of building the new facility at 250 Sherman Ave.

Under a plan proposed by City Manager James Keene and Public Works officials, the new building would be constructed next to another new facility -- a parking garage built to compensate for lost public parking and address the existing parking shortage in the California Avenue Business District.

The Sherman Avenue lot has its challenges, however. At only 1.2 acres -- which could be expanded to 1.5 acres by eliminating a right-of-way on Sherman -- it would still be a tight fit for the 44,848-square-foot building.

The Sherman lot was one of three options the council considered, and the council's enthusiasm for the site was in many ways a reflection of how unpopular the other options were. Both of the other two proposals would have placed the new public-safety building near the Baylands, in tidal flood zones and far away from the city's center.

One considered the Los Altos Treatment Plant site on San Antonio Road, while the other looked at the PG&E substation at 3120 West Bayshore, an option that would have required the utility company to go through the four-year process of moving its equipment from the site.

As Mayor Karen Holman put it: "I kind of feel like we're being presented three options, two of which aren't options."

Most council members agreed. Councilman Marc Berman was the first to endorse the Sherman option and his colleagues quickly followed suit.

"None of them are perfect, but of those that aren't perfect, Sherman Avenue is by far the best," Berman said.

Councilman Greg Scharff, who often talks about the need to build a new parking garage on California Avenue, was more excited. He particularly liked staff's suggestion that the new garage could include ground-floor retail that would be designated as below-market-rate for the preservation of local shops.

"I'd advocate for moving full speed ahead on the Sherman Avenue site," Scharff said. "I don't see any other opportunities out there."

City staff considered and discarded more than 20 other locations in recent months. In many cases, the sites were not for sale. In some, the site proved too small or the price was too high.

Despite its small size, the Sherman site has one advantage over other options: it is located near the city's geographical center and next to the city's eclectic "second downtown." Its high visibility is one reason why Keene said he supports it over the other two options on the table.

"Even though it's acknowledged that they all have challenges, the Sherman Avenue site in my view has more upside to it and less downside than the other two," Keene said.

One of the values of the site, he said, is its high community visibility, which is important both for access and for symbolism.

"Currently, in contemporary conversations we're having in our society about police and community relations, it's important that we're sensitive to that," Keene said.

Councilman Cory Wolbach agreed, saying the Sherman Avenue is "at the top of the list for very good reasons."

Councilman Tom DuBois was more cautious and warned that solving California Avenue's parking problem and compensating the area for the lost parking lot could require a "monster garage." Even so, he also signaled his measured support for the Sherman Avenue site.

"None of the sites seem great, but it seems like we're coming to consensus on Sherman Avenue," DuBois said,

The Wednesday conversation was strikingly different from prior discussions of the public-safety building for two reasons. Unlike in the past, the city now has $57 million allocated for the project under an infrastructure plan the council approved in June 2014.

Also, the new proposals don't depend on private developers or land that the city doesn't own. The city's last proposal for a police building died in December 2013, when developer Jay Paul dropped a plan to build an office complex at 395 Page Mill Road, a project that included a police building as a public benefit.

Before that, the city had entered into an option to buy two properties on Park Boulevard for the new facility. That agreement was dropped in 2009, when the city's coffers dried up in the economic downturn.

Now, the city has the land, the money and a council eager to get working on the project. Even so, some hurdles remain. The new proposal would require extensive design work and environmental analyses before construction would begin.

Councilman Pat Burt also pointed to the circulation problems that would result from removal of the Sherman Avenue right-of-way and directed staff to study this issue further.

Yet the council, by and large, agreed with Berman's request not to "let the perfect be the enemy of the very good."

Before joining the council, Berman had served on a citizen committee that surveyed the city's infrastructure needs and that described the existing police headquarters as "unsafe and vulnerable" in its final report.

"It's time we come to a decision on the site and mitigate whatever issues might exist and start moving forward so that we can develop the public-safety building for Palo Alto for the next 50 years," Berman said.

Comments

33 people like this
Posted by Rainer
a resident of Evergreen Park
on May 7, 2015 at 1:42 am

Rainer is a registered user.

Ah, the good old Palo Alto $100M (because that’s what it will cost after escalation) Central Police Station:Still making noise. It is on-life-support, I remember we were promised to vote on it.
Executive Summary:
This describes the space and financial solution for the Palo Alto Central Police Station (now cleverly called Public Safety Building):
Add a police floor, or two, to the fire stations, while seismically retrofitting them. No need to commit $100Million all at once, and you can do one at a time as finances allow, learning along the way.
If we would have decided on this route in 2006 we could have done the first retrofitting in 2008, with cheap bond money and low construction cost. That would have boosted the economy better than the harebrained idea to eliminate ground floor retail protection.
Haven’t the wise people in City Hall realized that a Central Police Station is so yesterday, so unbecoming to the Technology Leader Palo Alto! Police and Fire Department nationwide, supported by technology, get away from Central Police Stations to Mobile Command Centers, integrating Fire and Police Departments along the way. Web Link
The fast way to start this in Palo Alto is to expand the 8 fire stations to house the police as well. Whenever citizens brought this idea up to the city council in recent year's meetings, individual councilors found it appropriate to ridicule the speakers. Very embarrassing to watch! On whose payroll are the Councilors? Or are they just feeling grandiose, Emperor-like?
The operational fusing of local fire districts shows the way. This makes sense for Palo Alto as well. "The effort to build a central police station has been going on for decades" we hear --- maybe there is a reason for it: it is an idea whose time has passed. It was made outdated of all things by this thing Palo Altan: an iPad.
Emergency magazines have detailed articles on iPad based systems, here is one from "9-1-1 Magazine" Web Link for Tiburon.
Another interesting case may be the City of Redlands, because of its similar size to Palo Alto Web Link
To boot, Japan, among other countries, has shown the world that the Koban based system leads to much better community policing with the patrol officers on foot, bicycle, or bike, but also cars being present in the neighborhood.
In an emergency, do you want the police or fire equipment come from a central fire station 30 minutes away, slowed down by rush hour traffic? The other day it took me 35 minutes at 5:30 PM to get from California Ave to San Antonio.
Friends in the police tell me that they really do not need the central place. Central police stations are mainly needed, I am told, to increase the self-worth of the police chief. With fewer people in his/her direct view the Chief will do what David Packard and Bill Hewlett prescribed many years ago: walking around. Community policing!
The chosen sainted architect is planning the building painstakingly down to the work stations we learned in today’s City Council Meeting. How many work stations does the police department have now in their central location: 12 (twelve). And maybe zero in 3 years.


32 people like this
Posted by Bob
a resident of Professorville
on May 7, 2015 at 1:48 am

Orginally posted by Mike on January 26. A ggod post should never be forgotton!
Maybe co-locate/integrate new police facilities with fire stations (which are really more like medical dispatch sites anyway) -- they also have a significant part of the infrastructure budget (as I recall, to upgrade/rebuild multiple fire stations). Part of changing the facilities could be eliminating the living/eating/sleeping quarters at fire stations, and changing our whole approach to fire/medical response staffing -- there is no other organization (including police) where 24/7 coverage is needed where we pay people to sleep/eat/workout/etc. Put firefighters (again, primarily medical response) on a four-shift schedule like police (and every other organization that requires round-the clock staffing), and we'll need much less physical space and we'll get much greater personnel utilization at lower cost.


5 people like this
Posted by John
a resident of another community
on May 7, 2015 at 8:36 am

The above post gives a new meaning to "sleeping (and getting paid) on the job"!


26 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 7, 2015 at 9:29 am

1) The Sherman Ave. parking lot is "nondescript"?? What else is s pstkinh lot supposed to be?

2) If City Hall is so seismically unsafe, why did we just spend almost $5,000,000 to redecorate the first floor with new "wayfinding" art and how much will it cost to revise it? Why don't they just redo the entire building and put the police station there? Downtown's already a total disaster.

3) If we're going to make Cal Ave even worse after spending almost $8,000,000, how about someone do an economic impact study of this idea because there's so little parking there you can't meet friends there for lunch or run errands there. Ask the merchants!

4) Baylands and flooding? We should be so lucky! That would mean it would have to rain.

5) Why does a police station have to be centrally located?


3 people like this
Posted by judith
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on May 7, 2015 at 10:31 am

@Online Name #2: City Hall is not seismically unsafe for offices, it is only seismically unsafe for emergency services, which have to meet a higher standard.

What is with the anonymous posts, anyway?


17 people like this
Posted by jeff@jkeller.com
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 7, 2015 at 10:32 am

Along with @OnlineName I find it interesting that $5M was just spent to make an unsafe building more attractive. Probably there is another even larger redecorating project for city hall in the works.

And $8M was just spent to make California Ave better? Yet parking is getting worse? How could that be?

Perhaps if in a couple years there are even fewer pro "office developer" supporters in city hall we will see movement towards a balanced residential/office/commercial town.


12 people like this
Posted by The Short Sighted
a resident of Gunn High School
on May 7, 2015 at 10:32 am

To think that this new station was delivered on a silver platter by the Jay Paul company, turnkey ( meaning all costs were his ) , and the 'leaders' of the People's Republic of Palo Alto turned it down is almost criminal. Come the next big quake , we may not have a police station --- wouldnt that be nice when looters are roaming free in DT PA because the police are buried, literally . Dont think it can happen , take a look at Baltimore.
California Ave merchants all wanted that Jay Paul project with its smart growth, on the Caltrain, and the police Capt was very enthusiastic about the number one 'public benefit' on the list for 25 yrs . But no, PA knows better. We must be the only town in the US dumb enough to turn it down , but then we turn down Senior Housing over 'size' and 'traffic' issues . Come the quake, remember the new police station could already be under construction at NO cost to PA !


14 people like this
Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 7, 2015 at 10:56 am

re: Jay Paul project.

You've neglected to mention all of the "give-backs", "trade-outs", PC give-aways, for this project...


16 people like this
Posted by Robert
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 7, 2015 at 11:20 am

Another waste of $100 million +, another boondoggle. ABSURD AND DISGRACEFUL! As if lack of a new building is preventing the cops from doing their jobs right now. What they need is to upgrade the quality of officers, not to put the money into bricks and morter and satellites and computer systems run by barely qualified people. Yet no one on the City Council has the cajones to speak up and tell it like it is: this is a MASSIVE WASTE and is NOT NEEDED. It's just MORE TOYS and more handsome quarters for those who need to upgrade their HUMAN resources, NOT their TECHNOLOGY.


25 people like this
Posted by lukewarm
a resident of College Terrace
on May 7, 2015 at 11:21 am

"The Sherman lot was one of three options the council considered, and the council's enthusiasm for the site was in many ways a reflection of how unpopular the other options were."
This doesn't sound like an enthusiastic endorsement of the new location. Will other sites (i.e. south of Oregon near Google) be considered?


31 people like this
Posted by False choice
a resident of Evergreen Park
on May 7, 2015 at 12:21 pm

Staff presented 3 choices of which 2 were clearly unacceptable. Manipulation experts on the job.
When will we be able to trust the staff?


13 people like this
Posted by palo alto resident
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 7, 2015 at 12:58 pm

Why can't we use the current location and just rebuild?


2 people like this
Posted by chris
a resident of University South
on May 7, 2015 at 1:27 pm

palo alto resident,

You would need an alternative police station for 3-4 years.


3 people like this
Posted by chris
a resident of University South
on May 7, 2015 at 1:28 pm

lukewarm,

did you read the article?

they considered over 20 sites before coming up with the short list of 3.


1 person likes this
Posted by Casa de Cerveza
a resident of Evergreen Park
on May 7, 2015 at 1:55 pm

Casa de Cerveza is a registered user.

Welcome to our neighborhood Palo Alto Police Department! I welcome your presence. You will bring enhanced vigilance to an increasingly vibrant part of our community. This area includes more densely populated residential developments, new employers along Park Boulevard, a more frequently visited business district, and a major transportation hub. Make it so.


18 people like this
Posted by quietneighborhood
a resident of College Terrace
on May 7, 2015 at 3:02 pm

Leave it where it is.


4 people like this
Posted by DigDeep
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 7, 2015 at 3:52 pm

Assuming this goes through, and there is a parking structure built, lets make it *big enough*! Go down 2 stories, as did the current project on Park Avenue. Any "extra" space there (should there be) can be used by prospective jurors in the Courthouse.


6 people like this
Posted by NeedsToBeBuilt
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 7, 2015 at 4:01 pm

to Robert and others:
Palo Alto's police building does not meet the State (and Judicial as well, I believe) standards for its function. Some are safety; some are liability; some may be the result of civil rights decisions. It has been that way for many years. I do not know what sanctions the State can take against the City, nor for how much longer we can get away without addressing it. So although you may question how much it should cost, no, it is not an unnecessary boondoggle.


20 people like this
Posted by Citizen 7
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 7, 2015 at 4:16 pm

The city does not need a new police building. This is just another "trophy" project. The facilities in City Hall are perfectly adequate for a city with very little crime. Leave it where it is.


3 people like this
Posted by CourthouseLot?
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 7, 2015 at 4:24 pm

What about using the north-east portion of the lot housing the Courthouse? Could a better building be designed if built there? Not so tight on space? Could the City do an 'exchange' with the County when building a (large) parking structure to dedicate a floor that replaces the lost spaces on the Courthouse lot?


Like this comment
Posted by Citizen 7
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 7, 2015 at 4:31 pm

NeedsToBeBuilt,

If City Hall really is not seismically safe, then spend the $100M reinforcing City Hall so everyone working in City Hall will be safe, not just the police.


3 people like this
Posted by NeedsToBeBuilt
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 7, 2015 at 4:45 pm

Citizen 7
I do not know that City Hall is seismically unsafe. If anyone does, I would appreciate a link.

However, as noted much further up the comment list (by judith), the Police (Public Safety) Building has a different and more stringent set of requirements.


22 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Midtown
on May 7, 2015 at 5:10 pm

The Police department has the money for a new police station. They already have a sufficient police building. Our excellent city should use the money set aside for the cop shop to purchase Buena Vista so our neighbors can maintain the diversity in this wonderful community.

Save Buena Vista!


7 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 7, 2015 at 5:55 pm

I think the Courthouse suggestion is a great idea. That is worth a try. The only problem is all of the police cars - that is why a new building on San Antonio East would be a super place. You could have the courthouse and a new building on San Antonio East so the police cars and other support would be there.


8 people like this
Posted by BV
a resident of Barron Park
on May 7, 2015 at 6:48 pm

What about putting it at the BV site and using some funds to build affordable housing at the rest of the site?


13 people like this
Posted by Citizen 7
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 7, 2015 at 9:30 pm

BV,

It doesn't make sense to tear down the affordable housing that is already at Buena Vista, and then build new unaffordable affordable housing to replace it.

Just leave Buena Vista where it is, and the police where they are, and use the $100M to upgrade City Hall, and buy the Buena Vista property.


3 people like this
Posted by Long-time Palo Altan
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 8, 2015 at 7:59 am

For those who are interested in facts about the site selection process and other details of this project, read the staff report online on the City's website: Web Link.


17 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 8, 2015 at 9:08 am

As we were driving to dinner last night, I said, "Guess where they're going to put the new police/ rescue station."

People laughed and said, "Great. Now the police cars and rescue vehicles can be stuck in gridlock just like we are right now trying to cross El Camino."

Seriously, you've got lane reductions coming on El Camino. Embarcadero and Oregon/Page Mill are already gridlocked. Charleston-Arastradero is due for a "redesign" with a median strip. University, Alma, Middlefield, San Antonio etc. are already parking lots for much of the day.

How will the police/rescue vehicles cross the rr tracks to get to the other side of town? Churchill? E. Meadow? (Cue the bike coalition.)

If this sounds like a bad joke, think about the reality of a police car /ambulance getting from Sherman to 101 or University Ave or to your house.


15 people like this
Posted by wmconlon
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 8, 2015 at 11:40 am

wmconlon is a registered user.

Thank you @Long-time Palo Altan for the link to the staff report.

The spreadsheet of staff evaluated sites is really quite interesting. Take a look at item 21: Palo Alto Square.

The commentary reads: "PSB would not replace existing development. It would be placed on existing parking lot with a garage to offset displaced parking. Eliminated due to overly complicated nature of the proposal."

Really! Overly complicated?

This would allow a new structure to be built on a parking lot, or better, replace the existing garage. A multi-story structure could be readily provided and would be far less obtrusive next to the other buildings on the site. The Hanover fire station could even be relocated there, to defray land-lease costs. Given the value of office space in town, perhaps Equity Office Properties would be interested in owning the structure, if it could be expanded to include some rental space.

The police would have far better access for responding than at the preferred Sherman Avenue location, which is land-locked as others have noted. It seems feasible to obtain a right of way for police vehicles to Hansen, so responders could have another route out to El Camino Real and Page Mill Road.

Anyway, I found the staff report quite unsatisfying -- more of a history lesson than shedding light on the issue.

Given that staff acknowledges there are very wide variations in the requirements, I would like to see references to the actual requirements, which are probably in the UBC/IBC for critical facilities, but more importantly the actual minimum legal and desired (with justification) requirements for offices, meeting rooms, lock-up space, weapons, lockers, records (do we need to store paper records in expensive Palo Alto, or can they be in the cloud with archives in a mine) supplies, standby power, etc. It seems that these requirements and the various assessments of space requirements should all be compared, so we don't end up with another project that ends up late, over-budget, and in dispute because of change orders.

I think the staff report should also have provided some discussion of what to expect as impacts/results from a new PSB both for response time and environmental impacts in the immediately affected area as well as the broader community. As others have noted, the Park Blvd area is already severely impacted with traffic and noise issues.

I also think the staff report should candidly assess the project and construction management capabilities that will be needed to build a PSB on time, on budget, and meeting all functional requirements.

Finally, I think it's important that we also consider the workforce needs -- what do our first responders require to do their job well, and also what we need to do to make sure that we can recruit and retain the best.


20 people like this
Posted by Ronna Devincenzi
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 8, 2015 at 11:50 am

"Long-Time Palo Altan", thank you & regarding history, please add to your summary:

When the California Avenue Area Development Association was active, led by the CAADA Board, the organization successfully fought a take-over of these parking lots for use of police/fire headquarters.

I cannot remember the year, but it was when Susan Frank was CEO of the Chamber of Commerce. Way back then, the Chamber took no position on this important issue that affected so many merchants in the district.

The CAADA Board supported the police station to be in the district, such as the Jay Paul offer, among other nearby locations. So the objection was 100% the loss of parking.

The CAADA Board fought the city's initial attempt at a take-over of those existing parking lots because (if memory serves) when the district was founded, those lots were paid for by merchants/property owners FOR PARKING, then the lots were deeded to the city. That is the only reason why the city now owns them.

Personally, I think areas around Mitchell Park would be a better place for the new building, if one is built. Or with all the money spent on City Hall renovations not long ago, the PAPD ought to stay where it is, right inside City Hall.

California Avenue Parking Lots should be as protected as are endangered species.
Please, leave them alone.


Like this comment
Posted by Duveneck Resident
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 8, 2015 at 6:10 pm

We need a new public safety building that will be operational during the next major earthquake. Also, we do need a more modern facility. I'm glad the city is moving forward and the Sherman site sounds like it was clearly the best of the three. I would recommend using all the space in the parking garage site for parking and not using any of it for retail since parking is already difficult in the California Ave area.

The idea of relocating the Hanover fire station sounds like an option and I wonder why it was not considered or disqualified.


Like this comment
Posted by curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on May 8, 2015 at 6:38 pm

"How will the police/rescue vehicles cross the rr tracks to get to the other side of town? Churchill? E. Meadow?"

Contrary to popular perception, the cops don't hang around the station playing pinochle waiting for a call. They are out patrolling in their cruisers and receive assignments by radio.


2 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 8, 2015 at 8:19 pm

curmudgeon,

1) With all the lane reductions and increased congestion, it will become increasingly difficult for cars, buses etc. to pull over to give police-fire-ambulance vehicles the right-of-way. (We've already heard about perps escaping because the police on University were blocked from car pursuits and had to ditch their cars to try to run after the perp.)

2) Have you ever seen a single police or fire or emergency vehicle rushing to any site? There are always at least three, often more that 8 even for non-injury incidents.

3) Are you saying the ambulances and fire trucks etc. should be out cruising in case there's a radio call as a way around the ever-increasing gridlock?


Like this comment
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on May 8, 2015 at 8:41 pm

"curmudgeon,

1) With all the lane reductions and increased congestion, it will become increasingly difficult for cars, buses etc. to pull over to give police-fire-ambulance vehicles the right-of-way. (We've already heard about perps escaping because the police on University were blocked from car pursuits and had to ditch their cars to try to run after the perp.)"

OK, but what do you want me to do about it?

"2) Have you ever seen a single police or fire or emergency vehicle rushing to any site? There are always at least three, often more that 8 even for non-injury incidents."

Yes. Many times. But very few of them are dispatched directly out of the police station. Set your police scanner to 482.8125 MHz and learn for yourself.

"3) Are you saying the ambulances and fire trucks etc. should be out cruising in case there's a radio call as a way around the ever-increasing gridlock?"

Nope. I merely stated the facts as they are. You don't actually think they all come right from the cop shop, do you? They don't.


6 people like this
Posted by Rainer
a resident of Evergreen Park
on May 8, 2015 at 11:15 pm

Rainer is a registered user.

I liked this comment:
Contrary to popular perception, the cops don't hang around the station playing pinochle waiting for a call. They are out patrolling in their cruisers and receive assignments by radio.

This is why cities who are up to snuff on technological advancement (Video conferencing, Skype, etc.)stopped spending on Central facilities.
They use revamped fire stations and mobile command centers.
See my first post on top. And I am not the first one who proposed this, but the City bosses get very angry on this topic, browbeat anybody brings this out in public to the City Council, and otherwise buries it.

Hello: we own the fire stations. I a city wide emergency is either a n earthquake or a terrorist attempt, distribute power and response it much better. Right now a well places gasoline bomb or a bazooka would take out most police cars under City Hall.

Write to the Council. They have to print it in the Council Meeting package, so Google can find it.


Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 8, 2015 at 11:28 pm

Aside to Curmudgeon, my scanner is generally parked 0.2 MHz lower.


4 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 9, 2015 at 10:35 am

Thanks for the corrections. What you're suggesting makes lots more sense than putting the huge new cop shop near Cal Ave.


2 people like this
Posted by Mary
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 9, 2015 at 4:26 pm

The city needs a new police headquarters and a least two new fire stations to replace two existing ones. Save money- build a new police building with a fire station attached to it. Build the other fire station and sell off the land where the other one was.


10 people like this
Posted by rainer
a resident of Evergreen Park
on May 10, 2015 at 9:52 am

@Mary
when you write:"
"The city needs a new police headquarters and a least two new fire stations to replace two existing ones. Save money- build a new police building with a fire station attached to it. Build the other fire station and sell off the land where the other one was,"

you are half way there. Now think it through:
You rebuild the 2 existing fire stations, you apparently know need to be rebuilt, and attach police stations to it.

Do that 8 times and you have distributed police station system for community policing and earthquake proof fire stations. All in strategic locations to get to places in a hurry.

The big equipment needed in a real city wide emergency is located at the fire stationsand operated by the fire men anyhow.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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