Police launch website for new station project

By Douglas McCulloch | Dec 22, 2016
Photo by: Douglas McCulloch The department has worked out of a set of trailers and modular units since the headquarters were closed in 2014.

When voters rejected renovation proposals for the current police station on Russells Mills Road in 2015, current Police Chief Robert Szala attributed it to lack of communication with the public. As a second attempt for an updated station unfolds, Szala is determined to not make the same mistake as his predecessor.

The Dartmouth Police recently launched a website to keep residents up-to-date on the station’s progress. Szala said residents can expect weekly updates on everything from budget estimates to the station’s eventual completion.

“We’ll provide updates throughout the entire process,” Szala said.

The headquarters at 249 Russells Mills Road has been shuttered since early 2014, after bacteria in the water supply made an officer sick. Former chief, Tim Lee, had proposed a $8.6 million renovation that residents ultimately voted down because they were unsure on exactly what they were being asked to vote on, said Szala.

“Seeing a favorable outcome comes from having well-educated and well-informed voters,” he said.

The department has since chipped away at its goal. Heading into 2017, Fall Town Meeting voters signaled their support by allotting $250,000 for a study and design of a new station. Site evaluation work is currently underway at the shuttered Gidley School on Tucker Road – identified as the best location for the new station, and a finalized budget and design decisions are expected to be ready by spring.

Residents can weigh in on the proposal by typing questions and/or concerns in the page’s comment section to have them answered. Szala said those who do not wish to comment online can contact him via phone or email – (508) 910-1736 or chief@dartmouthpd.org.

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