Police Stations have had a history of being seen as municipality-owned fortresses. In the past, when designing police and public safety buildings, the perceived need for security and outdated practices resulted in stations that do not adequately support today’s law enforcement agencies. It is expected that municipalities nationwide will likely be raising law enforcement budgets in 2022. As cities begin investing in new facilities, owners have a few things they should keep in mind before building a new station.
Police stations are recognized as a community asset resulting in a substantial shift in design and construction. Creating a beneficial relationship between law enforcement officers and the community is an ever-increasing priority. Recent studies have shown those police departments that focus on community development significantly increase community support for police and greater cooperation between law enforcement and local citizens.
New stations must be seen as transparent, accessible, and integrated into the community it serves. This accessibility takes the form of public greenspace or shared space, integrating other community functions and placing new stations closer to other public city departments. In construction and design, steps can be taken to connect police departments with citizens while maintaining a secure facility.
While new public safety buildings should have community buy-in, it also must keep the officer’s well-being. Officers today need to work in stations that create a healthy environment. As of 2021, police departments throughout the country reported a 45% increase in retirement rates and a 20% increase in resignations, fueled by an overall drop in officer morale.
High-quality police stations built with the officers in mind can make a tremendous difference in an officer’s mood. Simple things like natural light, high-quality stress-relieving spaces like gyms and breakrooms, and more efficient layout and equipment can significantly affect a police department’s morale.
Law enforcement equipment and technology have rapidly advanced, and new stations need to be built to accommodate the evolving nature of police work. Police drones, officer tracking, cloud networking, body cameras, new surveillance, forensic and biometric equipment all can work to make an officer safer and more efficient. Stations need to be built to use the existing resources and accommodate future technology and resources.
Our first responders, officer, and staff provide an invaluable service and require facilities that improve their morale and ability to do their jobs and make them a part of the community they serve. Biltmore Construction has, over our 68 years in business, completed many projects for public safety agencies throughout Florida. Recently in south Florida we have completed renovations for Florida International University’s 12,000 square foot Public Safety and Emergency Management Center. Biltmore is also currently completing a new, secured Judicial Courthouse and Detention Center for Monroe County. Our responsibility to first responders is to ensure they have what they need to be effective and satisfied on the job for the entire life of whatever building we complete.
View some of our additional completed projects here