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Plans for New Police Station Underway

Original post made by Resident, Crescent Park, on Aug 28, 2007

I was flipping through channels the other day and came across a meeting between a city review group and a architectural company where they were discussing possible scenarios for a new police station. Why is there any discussion, and therefore community money being spent, on plans for a police station when those of us who live in Palo Alto have not had the opportunity to decide via our vote whether we even want a new police station? Is that a community priority? I don't think so. Lets vote first and then spend money on planning and building it, if the community agrees that they need a new police station.

Comments (10)

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Posted by Bondless
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 28, 2007 at 10:03 am

Resident, first of all it is not a Police Station, it is a "Public Safety Building" which will incorporate a Dispatch Center along with other things.

You cannot ask the voters for money unless you show them what they are spending their money on. Therefore, we must have a designed building to show the voters. (See postings under Palo Alto Issues)

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Posted by restorative.justice.for.all
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 30, 2007 at 1:23 pm

As a thought. Why not use vacant buildings as an annex for the need to build a "new police station". e.g. bldg#1, houses adminstration. bldg#2, houses communication. bldg#3 houses evidence...etc. Why spend city tax money.....on Chief Lynne Johnson? Lease...building?

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Posted by another plan
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 30, 2007 at 1:47 pm

One of the buildings could be the present police station, remodeled as necessary. For security purposes decentralization with some redundancy perhaps makes sense.

By the way, what would the city do with the police buuilding if it were vacated?

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Posted by PD
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 30, 2007 at 2:30 pm

Another Plan, the present Police Building can be used by all those other departments they've rented space for across the street. The new building will have to be seismically safe which the old building is not or never could be.

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Posted by bruce
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 30, 2007 at 10:47 pm

Logistically it is impractical to divide up police services. If the present police area is vacated, the Planning Dept. would move into that section of City Hall. They presently rent their quarters on Hamilton for $550,000 annually!!

The proposed building is a Public Safety Building because the Dispatch Center and Emergency Operations Center will be part of it. This qualifies it as an Essential Services Building which must meet the new seismic safety requirements. The existing building does not meet these requirements. See California Codes Essential Services Building Act, and refer to the Health and Safety Code Chapter 2, sections 16007 and 16009. (These refer Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations and some of its sections.)

The present Dispatch and Emergency Operations Centers are located on level A of the present building which is part of City Hall. With a severe enough earthquake, it is expected that the floors of City Hall will drop and pancake these and all other functions occupying the building. If this happens, instead of utter confusion we will have complete chaos throughout Palo Alto without police and emergency communications or service.

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Posted by Now I'm puzzled
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 30, 2007 at 10:59 pm

"The proposed building is a Public Safety Building because the Dispatch Center and Emergency Operations Center will be part of it. This qualifies it as an Essential Services Building which must meet the new seismic safety requirements."

Would it not be better, much simpler, and very much cheaper to put the Dispatch Center and Emergency Operations Center in a building, new or old, that meets the new seismic safety requirements and leave the law enforcement (police) where they are?

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Posted by bruce
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 1, 2007 at 12:03 am

Read the Blue Ribbon Task Force analysis of the present crowded, out-of-date facility. It describes clearly why the City needs a modern building which would be functional and meet today's needs.

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Posted by dispatch
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 2, 2007 at 12:10 pm

great ideas keep getting shot down-
such as the one to place the new cop shop next to happy donuts on
el camino- lots of room- centrally located- they love to cruise el camino-
and best of all- close proximity to maple bars, old fashioned donuts, coffee,
and free wi-fi!

Like this comment
Posted by Me
a resident of Ventura
on Sep 6, 2007 at 12:47 pm


I read your cop/donut joke and I was wondering would you tell a cop that joke when they came to your door when you:
1) You heard someone trying your back door late at night and were too scared to go out and see what it was yourself
2) Your child was choking and the 911 dispatchers sent to the nearest police officer because he was "cruising down El Camino" as opposed to the firemen who are farther away and still in the fire station.
3) Your car got broken in to and you need the cops to come out and take a report so you can give it to your insurance company.

Just wondering if make cop/donut jokes to their face or only when you know they can't hear you and you don't presently need something from them?

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Posted by Carol Mullen
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 9, 2007 at 4:12 pm

Stanford Medical Center, Stanford Research Park, and Stanford University have the need and the ability to design, build, staff and maintain a first-class public safety facility. I think little Palo Alto should contract from Stanford for these services.

It's unlikely that the residents will tax themselves for such a large building and communications center. It seems that City Council and Staff have more confidence in the ability of Palo Alto to deliver first-class disaster services than residents do.

Whatever you think of present Council and Staff, consider that it would be an ongoing problem to staff such a facility properly. Would Palo Alto be legally liable to Stanford for failure to do so?

Stanford has the greatest need, and certainly can command greater talent than Palo Alto.

The tradition of providing services from Palo Alto to Stanford looks back to a day when the University and the City were much smaller, much simpler, more equal.

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