NVDAILY.COM | Local News

Posted November 11, 2012 | comments 13 Comments

Site selection begins for new Front Royal police station

Chief: Current building no longer meets needs of 50 employees

By Joe Beck

Front Royal Police Chief Norman Shiflett is taking the first steps down a path he said he hopes will end with the building of a new station within five years.

Shiflett said Friday the 4,000 square foot building at 24 W. Main St. no longer meets the needs of the 50 employees who work there, and he has identified five sites as possible locations for the new building.

Shiflett said he wants more space for communications equipment, evidence storage and offices. Periodic flooding in the basement where heating and air conditioning equipment operates is also a problem, he said.

"We're confined to small offices," Shiflett said. "When we do expand manpower, investigative or administrative staff do not have space to accommodate an expansion."

The department's training room was so full during a recent presentation that "people were literally stepping over one another," Shiflett said.

He described the building's design as unattractive to visitors who encounter a tiny lobby, a locked glass door and intercom they must buzz to notify those inside after entering the building. Shiflett has identified improving communication with citizens community access to the department among his top priorities.

"The building is not very friendly as far citizens coming in," Shiflett said.

The current building has not expanded since it was built in 1922. The police department has occupied it since 1985.

Some of the five sites under consideration for the headquarters would require a new building. Others would involve converting an existing structure. Some are near the current downtown location and others are farther away.

Whether it's an old or new building, the next police headquarters will be expected to last at least 20 years, Shiflett said.

The sites under consideration include the nearby town hall on Royal Avenue, a building that is soon to be vacated when government offices move to the former BB&T building on Main Street. Other possibilities include a site on the Avtex Fibers Superfund site, a vacant building near the former headquarters of the Warren County Sheriff's Office, a site near the former county social services building on Commerce Avenue near the Fantasyland playground and a site near the Warren County Senior Center on Commonwealth Avenue.

A consultant will be hired to help in choosing a final site.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com

13 Comments |

    If Front Royal was a larger municipality. I would try to put the police station in a high crime rate area. I guess space wise, the old avtex site would be a good location.

    hmm. The former avtex site!!! Maybe we should lure the redskins from doing training camps in Richmond. I could deal with redsksins training camp in warren county!

    aside from the two that already commented, im sure there will be more to complain. I been here about a year and so far as i can see the local governments (Warren, Shenandoah County) cant do anything right...at least according to you people ( and yes i said "you people"). the people of these counties wont give the governments a chance, it seems you all complain about everything. You all have the godilocks syndrome....this is too hard, now its too soft but never is it just right. I would bet my paycheck that half of you cry babies dont even vote for your local leaders.

      I vote locally TY! I even voted for someone completely different from most of my beliefs at that! (FR does need to go back to Nov voting btw) Please donate that half to Red Cross.

      To the point, the current location is absolutely non-public friendly. Enter door, hit buzzer, wait 10 min, talk to officer there in tiny entrance where anyone can walk in. Obviously the Town is growing, so will the need. Renovating an existing building would be cheaper short term, but how long would it meet needs? I'm curious if anyone has done a town growth to police need analysis to figure in how long a a renovated building would sustain or if that is part of the 'consultants' job?

      I* think I like the Avtex idea as well, invest in the future and all that good stuff. No one ever wants to spend money but sometimes its necessary.

    Sorry Steve, the two you refer to were posted by the same person. It's Goldilocks and crybabies is one word.
    I vote in local elections and I'm critical if I feel that 'our' elected representatives aren't doing their best for the interest of the people. Even those who don't vote.

    From antiquated asbestos filled buiding to toxic superfund site? Really? If the town does not fix the cop's pay they can stay where they are because the current building will be empty. Cops do provide a public service but not at the poverty level! It's not worth the risk at that point. The town has not come through with their last promise to the cops yet, the Master Police Officer Program.

    I'll believe this council will spend the money it takes to move the town forward when I see it. Five years? Yeah right. The officers have been patiently waiting for over a year for the MPO program that was approved and promised! Well.....where is it? Why is there discussion on a new building when this monster has yet to be tackled? Where is that money coming from? I'm not saying it isn't needed, it is, badly. And it's definitely at the top of capital improvements for the police. But one can only wonder if this is just another ploy by the good ole boys to shut up the people doing the work. Promise some hope but never deliver.

    Five years??? A new recycled council?? Chief Shiflett you have worked in the Warren County government too long. You have no idea the level of complete incompetence that prevails in River City elected officials. You will not be able to push and persuade council nor the mayor(who by the way runs the council) to do anything which would improve the level of service that the tax payers receive. Now wait...they went and spent 1.4 million?? on a building on Main st. with no space needs study just the loft expectations of Hell towns own town manager. So I say good luck and Gods speed but don't be too disappointed when at the end of five years you are Chief in the same lovely building that you are now.

    The standard response by our local officials. Build a new monument to themselves without taking care of their people. How about a decent pay raise? No doubt most of the cops would like some more take home pay.

    If you want to know where the station will be moved, just look to see who owns the sites. The old Town Hall is out, the town already owns it. Just see which well connected political fat cat owns which of the locations and you will have the new site. Ain't nothing like making them richer with your tax dollars.

    I am new here to Front Royal after 24 years of living very rurally in Northern Vermont's North East Kingdom. Town life is nice, but I still have some apprehensions about my own personal safety here. That is due in part from living isolated for many years and living in a place where crime is not at all high, if at all. Now I park behind a building, lock everything, and let a friend know where I am going.I am actually learning a new way to live, something that town and city residents have grown accustom to. I find comfort in knowing the Police Station is right down the road. But I have been in that building, and yes its beautiful and historic, but much much too small for 50 working people.....I am happy about the plans for a larger facility for them, more space could also mean doing some outreach educational programs on site, as well as having fund raisers for the dept and other good causes...this project could also generate a few more jobs.....Good luck with the new Plans....one more thing...I was in NO way saying that my life is in danger here in Front Royal, or that this is a dangerous place to live...it's one of the reason I choose this area to live in.....

    A new building? I think the good ol' boy Chief is missing his Kingdom on the Hill!! >_< It seems to me that someone has regrets about leaving!! I heard from a good source that he has spent more time at the Kingdom than at the landfill!! Why is that??? Chief how bid does your office need to be? Bigger than McEathrons??

    It seems to me that someone has regrets about leaving!! I heard from a good source that he has spent more time at the Kingdom than at the landfill!! Why is that??? Chief how big does your office need to be? Bigger than McEathrons??


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