Officials, Citizens Given Tour Of New Berlin Police Station

Officials, Citizens Given Tour Of New Berlin Police Station
The exterior of the new Berlin Police Department headquarters on Decatur Street is pictured Monday. Photos by Charlene Sharpe

BERLIN – A training room, sally port, gym, ventilated property room and large patrol room highlighted a tour of the town’s new police station this week.

On Monday Berlin officials got their first glimpse of the town’s new police station, which is currently under construction on Decatur Street. Police Chief Arnold Downing and architect Tim Crosby led the tour of the facility, which is set to be complete in early 2018.

“The guys designed a wonderful building,” Downing said. “I think we’ll be really proud of it when it’s done.”

Downing began the tour at the building’s side entrance, which leads to what will be his office on one side and the offices of his lieutenants on the other. He walked officials through the hallways of the building, pointing out the fingerprint room, the processing room and the separate juvenile area. He said the large patrol room would include space for 20 work stations, which would allow the Berlin Police Department to have a desk for visiting law enforcement. He said that would be set up so that a deputy from the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, for example, could process a prisoner. Downing said that could potentially save an officer a trip back to their home station.

“It eliminates a step for them,” he said. “The more you have to transport a person yourself the more dangerous it is.”


Police Chief Arnold Downing makes a point during this week’s tour of his department’s new facility, which is expected to be completed early next year.

Crosby pointed out the building’s array of safety features, which include bulletproof glass in some areas as well as a 12-gauge steel ceiling.

“There’s no way anybody’s going to get through it,” Crosby said.

He added that steel trusses had been used throughout the building instead of wood trusses.

“The entire building is non-combustible,” he said.

He said the station’s corridors were secured and that the sally port’s two doors could not be opened simultaneously.

Downing said a major benefit to the new station was the ventilated property room where drugs could be stored.

“Only select people will be able to make it into this area,” he said.

The new station will be heated and cooled by VRF systems.

“Every room is individually controlled,” Crosby said.

Downing pointed out that was ideal, as the station would be inhabited by civilians as well as by officers who might be wearing as much as 50 pounds of gear.

Crosby said the system also made the building easier to secure, as it eliminated the need for ducts, which would have had to have been protected with bars. He said it was also “immensely effective.”

“It’s more efficient than geothermal,” he said.

Mayor Gee Williams praised the state of the art facility and said it was obviously a strong structure. He asked how long it was expected to last.

“We designed this as a 50-year building,” Crosby said.

He added that the design of the building, while modern, included some of the elements and accents seen in Berlin’s historic architecture.

“We’ve drawn some flavor of the downtown,” Crosby said. “We think the building sits well on the site and does reflect back.”

The new station is set to be complete in January 2018 although Downing says the move to the new facility will take some time. Once the police department has relocated to the new building, the space currently used by Downing and his staff will be taken over by town hall.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.