Posted July 6, 2002 | comments Leave a comment

Safety officials plan move to new facility

By Kevin Killen -- Daily Staff Writer

Contents of the current Winchester public safety building on Cameron Street will begin to be moved into the new Timbrook Safety Center at the end of the month, city officials said Friday.

Police, fire and rescue officials will relocate to the new structure on Piccadilly Street.

If all goes well, the building should be fully operational by September, said City Manager Edwin C. Daley.

One of the final things the contractors are preparing to move is the communications center, where the dispatchers work, he said.

“Other than that, we are pretty much ready to go,” he said.

The new 32,700-square-foot facility is named for Winchester police Sgt. Ricky L. Timbrook, who was murdered while on duty in 1999.

One of the most impressive parts of the building is the 100-seat community room on the third floor, which Police Chief Gary W. Reynolds has said was designed to serve as a tool to break down barriers between the police and the public.

The community meeting room, however, is not the only feature of the facility that will provide open access to the public.

The Timbrook Safety Center was designed, according to Reynolds, with two key points in mind: Easy access for the public and high security for safety officials.

The Winchester Police Department, which will occupy about 90 percent of the building, will enjoy many necessities it currently does without. The basement of the new building features two drive-in garage bays. The first will be used for transporting prisoners to the station, thus minimizing the chance of escape by closing the large garage door. The second bay will be used by officers to search confiscated vehicles. In the closed room, officers can dismantle a vehicle piece-by-piece in the search for evidence.

One of the first events planned for the new building will be a July 17 seminar that deals with community-oriented public safety, Daley said.

The seminar will run from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., and will be co-hosted by Daley and Reynolds. The event will feature national guest speakers from law enforcement and public administration, Daley said.

Among the guest speakers will be Gayle Fisher-Stewart, a retired police officer who also holds a doctorate in political science from the University of Maryland.

Also set to speak is Al Sweeney, a 30-year veteran of the Boston Police Department. He has provided training and technical assistance in the areas of community policing and police management.

Daley said the seminar will be a useful tool to see where Winchester is with public safety, and where the city will go in the future.

Members of the community are invited, Daley said.

Winchester police Capt. David White said he is looking forward to the seminar, and hopes many people attend.

Roughly 50 people are scheduled to attend so far, he said. “This will be a refresher course for most, and it’s a good idea,” he said.

For more information, contact White at 665-5614.

* Contact Kevin Killen at kkillen@nvdaily.com

Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily | nvdaily.com | 152 N. Holliday St., Strasburg, Va. 22657 | (800) 296-5137