The view has changed, but so have the needs of the West Tisbury police department — and to that end the new station in North Tisbury that the department now calls home is a perfect fit.
“It’s not a view of Mill Pond but it is exactly what the department needed,” police chief Daniel Rossi said as he stood in his new office Monday morning, looking out the window at the parking lot.
“We are very happy with this.”
After two years of planning, the West Tisbury police moved in on Friday, changing the address of headquarters from the 1,300-square-foot building at 681 Edgartown Road to the new 5,600-square-foot public safety complex at 454 State Road.
The new station is behind the building which houses EMS and doubles as a polling place during elections.
Parking and storage are critical elements to a functioning police station on the Vineyard, Chief Rossi said. “And privacy. If someone parked at the old station everyone who drove by would know they were there,” he said.
Privacy concerns were taken into consideration while designing the interior of the police station too. The new building is equipped with an interview room that has audio/visual capabilities. “Before, if we had to question someone, or even if someone came in and wanted to talk about something that had nothing to do with crime, something of sensitive nature, there was no privacy,” Chief Rossi said.
He said sufficient parking for guests and cruisers, and more privacy inside the station, signifies a new chapter for the force.
The preliminary planning process began at a public forum in February 2012, where Chief Rossi told the town his department had outgrown their current building, citing the station as having inadequate space for police work. Last April, West Tisbury voted to approve the project. The construction finished on time, Chief Rossi said.
The new building is just what the police department needed and wanted, plus more, the chief said. Three floors of space are used by the department, which consists of nine officers including the chief, and one administrative assistant.
An armory room, an animal control and emergency services office, and rooms designated for storage, where evidence and other police business will be logged and kept, are all new to the force. “We didn’t even have a room for storage before, and now there are two. They’re big. Storage is everything,” he said.
“For the first time everyone has their own desk,” Chief Rossi said. Officers also have changing rooms and their own lockers. The building has several restrooms, some with showers, and a bunk room, which will be utilized by EMTs working 24-hour shifts and officers who live in another town. The break room was also upgraded. “We had a microwave and college-style fridge in the old building, but it was in the lieutenant’s office, which was a very small office and it wasn’t really private,” Chief Rossi recalled. In the new building, Lieut. Matthew Mincone has his own office. The break room, which has a full-size refrigerator, is separate.
Almost everything inside the building is new, Chief Rossi said, with the exception of the copy machine, a shredder and an old IBM Selectric typewriter “officers still use to type up reports.” Honor guard flags are now stationed in the lobby. “We didn’t have any space for them before,” the chief said. He added that there are plans to have artwork by local artists hung around the station.
The old police station only has old desks and a couple of chairs left inside, the chief said. The town has formed a committee to determine the future of that building.
The new police station is connected to the West Tisbury fire station two and part of an emergency services campus for police, fire and the tri-town ambulance service, which have existing mutual aid agreements. “Fire and EMS have been here for 14 years. Now we’ve joined them.” Chief Rossi said.
He said a public safety open house is planned for late April or May.
“Now the town of West Tisbury has a nice furnished public safety complex,” Chief Rossi said. “It’s one-stop shopping here.”