February 11, 2016 12:39 am ET
Dundalk facility is not ready for prime time … or even prisoners
Source: Precinct or Pre-Stink
Photo credit/rebrickable.com: One would guess the workers in front of the station should be inside working.
Can you believe that all of the flakes that fell from the sky during the great blizzard of 2016 weren’t all snow?
Yes, friends and readers, the new Dundalk Precinct is, as the Broadway saying goes, “not ready for prime time.”
Not to mention, for that matter, remotely ready for the processing of prisoners.
This information comes from deep inside the FOP; and, if you add an “L” into that word, you get FLOP!
Let me make this clear—this is not the fault of our friends on the “thin blue line,” but rather the fault of the “flakes” in Towson who make these “all wet” decisions.
Let’s take a close look at what some of the pitfalls are, shall we?
Start with the biggest pit—the “money pit,” or the hole in the ground where the taxpayers basically threw their hard earned tax dollars. The estimates for renovating the Eastwood Elementary School into “Alcatraz,” I have been told, are around $9 million … if not more. Therein lies another rather humongous problem stemming from what was left behind at the Government Center.
And yet another pit was dug by Vanguard’s Len Weinberg in the form of a lawsuit against Baltimore County over the apparent failure of the Merritt Pavilion. How much of our tax dollars will go into that pit is anyone’s guess. My bet is that it could be more costly than we think given the county’s reputation of appealing, appealing, and more appealing.
Back to some of the problems of the new “not ready for prime time” Dundalk Precinct. Now, as most of you know, I revel in the truth, so I would assume that the contractor would address these issues sooner than later. With that said, why move the station, especially in a blizzard, when it’s not ready? What was the “slush?” (Pun intended)
Back to the problems…
There are some rather serious issues involving security. One of the issues is that a person can access the main lobby and walk (without passing go) straight back into the prisoner processing area.
I guess I should cut some slack since the new station cannot process prisoners. But, let that sentence sink in a bit: The brand new Dundalk station cannot process prisoners.
No, I don’t think the perps will get a “get out of jail free” pass, as they will be shipped off to other stations for processing. The males go to the Essex Precinct, while the females go to the White Marsh Precinct.
But what happens when, God forbid, you have a mass arrest situation like a large fight or major drug bust? The arresting officer needs to be there in person to do the paperwork—a major requirement, especially if there is evidence involved.
There is a procedure known as “chain of custody.” That means the evidence must be accounted for to eliminate the possibility of contamination.
There could be one other potential problem with shipping perps off to different areas. (I know this is a bit of a stretch, but in today’s world, anything is possible.) What happens if there is a transgender issue? Where would that perp go? Does anyone else see the potential for a violation of civil rights?
OK, back to the guts of the building. I was informed that, in an obscure part of the building, there are two bullet holes in a window. My sources said there are definite signs of bullets causing the damage. I was also told the windows are being repaired.
How could such a thing happen? Well, did I mention that the security gate around the police vehicle parking lot is only half done?
I suppose, if you’re an optimist, that half is better than nothing.
Other sources described a scenario where officers should have access to the interior but don’t, while areas that are supposed to be secured are not. It seems that whoever planned this ill-fated move did not care about the safety of our friends in blue, but rather was more concerned about some lame schedule.
By the way, speaking of schedules, there are still police units at the Government Center, and they could be there for several more years. Those units include what are known as support operations, such as the K-9 unit, the marine unit, traffic management, TACT (tactical), the alcohol unit, the school guard, and towing functions.
The word on the street is that support operations will be moving to the sixth floor at headquarters in Towson, which has been completely remodeled for their arrival. However, there is one huge snag—NO PARKING!
Now how’s that for planning?
I would guess that the bean counters were too busy buying milk, bread, eggs, and toilet paper to prepare for the blizzard rather than worrying about such details.
(On a side note, what is it about lots of snow that makes people crave French toast and toilet paper? I’ve always wondered about that.)
According to the FOP, official bids have already gone out for additional parking facilities at the Joppa Road headquarters, with the cost figures ranging anywhere from $2 million to $5 million.
More money down the pit…
Just remember that this whole boondoggle started out as an ill-conceived plan to raise money by selling prime county land in order to help pay for AC in our schools. Today, the sale of the land seems kaput, the cost of renovating the Eastwood School is much higher than planned, Vanguard’s lawsuit is looming, the county has to maintain two police stations (which is pricey), and there is now the added wrinkle of redoing the headquarters building in Towson.
All of that spells big $$$. Hardly a victory for the Kamenetz administration, don’t you think??