Balto. County officers settle into new precinct

Reisterstown site meets need of fast-growing area

December 08, 2003|By David Anderson | David Anderson,SUN STAFF

The Baltimore County police officers at Precinct Three in Reisterstown are settling into their new home - a high-tech station that is five times the size of their old one.

Franklin Station, which serves the largest area in the county, boasts a state-of-the-art surveillance system, a modern detention wing and 25,000 square feet of space - enough to accommodate the precinct's 200 officers and four civilian workers, plus another 60 officers if needed.

"We know this area is going to grow, and we will need more officers," said police Chief Terrence B. Sheridan.

The station, at 606 Nicodemus Road, opened Nov. 17. It sits next to the Franklin Fire Station, which was dedicated a few days before Thanksgiving. Both stations were built to meet the needs of fast-growing communities such as Owings Mills and Reisterstown.

Precinct Three was housed for nearly 40 years in Garrison Station on Reisterstown Road. Capt. David Moxley, the precinct commander, said the old station was too small to meet the officers' needs.

The station's shortcomings included space for only 80 officers, no accommodations for female officers, horrible parking and unsafe access to Reisterstown Road, Moxley said.

"You took your life in your hands if you tried to get out on southbound Reisterstown Road," Moxley said.

The new $4.5 million building has 150 parking spaces, male and female locker rooms and easy access to Interstate 795 and Liberty Road.

On Friday, when the station was formally dedicated, Officer Corey Tayman demonstrated the security system. He sat behind three thin computer monitors. Two showed the views from 16 cameras outside and inside the station. The third monitor showed a floor plan.

Lt. John O'Brien walked through the mazelike detention wing. He started in the "sally port" entrance, where prisoners enter the building. There are separate entrances, one for men and another for women and juveniles.

The prisoners are then processed, photographed and placed in holding cells, which are also segregated by gender.

"This is the latest and greatest design for Baltimore County," O'Brien said. "If somebody gets out of this building, I'll have to congratulate them; I have enough trouble with a key."

"We're planning ahead," County Executive James T. Smith Jr. said at the dedication. "The protection of citizens is the primary responsibility of government. We can't do anything until people feel safe."

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