Westminster troopers move in despite a few minor glitches

Air conditioning quit, no front door locks at new barracks

August 02, 1999|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

Despite several minor glitches, troopers in Westminster completed the bulk of their move this weekend into the new Maryland State Police barracks G.

"A lot of little things still need to be done," Sgt. 1st Class Dean Richardson said, pointing to a section of unpainted wall surrounding an exit light.

"The few problems we have encountered are in-house." Like the front doors, which have no locks. And air conditioning that stops working at night.

But none of the glitches has kept the state's busiest barracks from carrying out its work, Richardson said.

The old barracks next door on Route 140 is being retired after 38 years. It will be demolished this month to make way for a new Motor Vehicle Administration office.

As for the gremlins at the new building -- where 115 troopers and civilian support staff are based -- Richardson was doing his best yesterday to vanquish them.

With a manufacturer's manual in one hand, Richardson wrestled with an electronic push-button combination lock to a door between the foyer and the barracks' interior and his office.

Other problems will require professional help.

"About 8 p.m. Friday the air conditioning seemed to shut down," Richardson said. "By morning, Cpl. Andy Anders was drenched as the new building heated up."

Restoring cooling breezes will be a priority for contractors today.

Air-conditioning technicians might have to step around the telephone crews that will be trying to figure out why the internal paging system has stopped functioning on at least two occasions.

"Maybe we're not doing something right when we use it," Richardson said.

Getting help

Troopers enlisted the help of nearly a dozen inmates from the Carroll County Detention Center to move heavy file cabinets from the third floor of the old barracks to the new $3.1 million building Saturday.

Certain things required planning, Richardson said.

"We spent two hours on Saturday just moving items over to the new evidence room," he said.

"A trooper had to accompany each item moved, to assure the integrity of the evidence."

Barracks' staff and troopers will spend today and several tomorrows finding a place for everything.

Tfc. Andrew Eways, a criminal investigator, was doing that yesterday.

"I can almost see the edges of my desk," he said with a wry smile.

New radios

At 12,100 square feet, the new barracks provides a third more space than the old building.

That work space is especially welcomed in the dispatch area, where a new 800 megahertz radio system allows dispatchers and troopers to be in direct contact with other municipal police agencies.

Soon, the new radios will be linked with emergency and fire dispatchers, who use the 800 megahertz radios.

Getting better

"We're getting through this," Sgt. Timothy Selby said of the move. "[On Saturday,] a lady walked through the front doors -- no locks, remember? She had a map, trying to find the Frizzellburg Antique Shop.

"You stop and help amid all the confusion, she's happy, and then you go back to what you were doing. You know things will get better."

Pub Date: 8/02/99

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