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Walls to rise Tuesday at new safety building

By Staff | Dec 6, 2008

The new communications center for the Cape Coral Police Department will be a huge improvement over the current Emergency Operations Center, with a work space so cramped employees are kicking computer towers when they attempt to move around.
The new communications operations center, part of the $19 million, 100,000- square-foot Cape Coral Police Headquarters to be completed in July, 2009, will be approximately 2,742 square feet with 17 operations positions. That starkly contrasts the current space of 800 square feet with eight positions, though approximately 14 to 16 workers could potentially need to be in the EOC at a given time.
“The work space is where the greatest benefit is going to be,” said Commander of the Communications and Logistical Support Bureau Paula Carter. “We will be able to have a status monitor, which will keep continual updates of all the apparatus, both police and fire, the active calls that they’re working and… how many calls in service at the same time.”
With the lack of space in the EOC, there wasn’t room for the monitor, Carter said.
Right now, representing the new 911 center is a three-story, 58-foot wall laying on its side at a construction site on Southeast 11th Street and Cultural Park Boulevard.
Balfour Beatty, the construction manager for the Police Headquarters project, will begin lifting the walls for the building Tuesday, and the public is invited to attend.
Cranes and construction equipment will be onsite to begin lifting the walls to the building at 8 a.m., subject to wind conditions.
Communications center employees are excited to have the room to work efficiently and other improvements in the work environment such as noise-reducing wall and floor panels, Carter said.
“They’ve been waiting for the last three years,” Carter said.
The new center will allow space for six 911 operator positions, four police operating positions, three information positions, two fire positions and two supervisor positions.
The in-house location will centralize the needs of the communications center, which currently is split between the public safety building and the EOC. Facility training, supervisor positions and radio and telephone equipment will be centrally located for ease of operations, Carter said.
The current technology will be transplanted into the new building, with the exception of a new radio system.
“A new digital radio system is going to be installed directly into the new center,” Carter said. “The center will be live when we move into this building.”
The new Police Headquarters will offer a number of new amenities when finished including increased storage space for evidence, police lockers, showers and eight temporary holding areas.
Those wishing to view the wall lifting should do so at the observation area near the construction office off of Southeast 11th Street. Visitors should not leave the observation area for safety reasons.
Parking will be available near the construction trailer and on the vacant lot north of the construction site.