The Georgetown Police Department and Georgetown Fire Department Administration move to the new Public Safety Operations and Training Center on Monday, February 2. The center is located at 3500 DB Wood Road next to Fire Station 5.
The new facility is the home for the Georgetown Police Department and Georgetown Fire Department Administration. Police Department offices, including Code Enforcement, as well as Fire Department Administrative offices, including Fire and Life Safety and Fire Plans Review, will move to the new facility.
Capt. Roland Waits describes the City’s new primary Emergency Operations Center located in the center. City management and key departments like Fire, Police, and Transportation will monitor emergencies and coordinate an integrated response from the EOC. The new center is engineered to withstand a strike from an F-3 tornado with 165 mile-per-hour winds.
This briefing room is where officers in the field operations bureau of the police department can gather to learn information prior to a new 12-hour shift.
A crime lab in the center contains vented hoods that allow crime scene technicians to use chemicals safely while processing evidence.
Small signs with the Georgetown Police Department insignia and the phrase “Be the Standard” can be found throughout police offices in the new center.
Capt. Waits says the weight and fitness room is one of the most highly-anticipated features of the new facility among the officers. The former Police Department at 809 MLK, Jr. Street had no fitness or weight training room.
A defensive tactics room with padded mats on the walls and floors will allow officers to learn and practice defensive techniques that are used when dealing with aggressive individuals.
Biometric access devices control entry to highly-sensitive areas such as rooms with evidence or weapons.
Lockers in the new facility have locked compartments for weapons and other compartments for vests and boots. The new men’s and women’s locker rooms are among the biggest improvements for officers at the new facility. The small lockers in the cramped space at 809 MLK, Jr. Street cannot fit an officer’s modern equipment.
This training bay inside the tactical and training building is one of the innovations of the new center. Movable partitions can be set up in the bay in order to conduct “reality-based training” in which officers are confronted with scenarios in which they must react. Officers can learn concepts and ideas in classrooms at the training building, and then go to the training bay where skills and tactics are put into practice using non-lethal ammunition similar to paintball rounds. Catwalks above the maze of partitions will allow training officers to evaluate and videorecord training events. These videos can be reviewed as a learning tool in the training process.
Police Chief Wayne Nero shows a door in the training bay on which officers can practice breaching techniques. Officers are trained to use various breaching tools on the doors. Nero says that kicking in a door, as seen in TV shows, often results in injuries in real-life policing.
Georgetown voters approved funding for the facility in a bond election in 2011.
A public open house for the Public Safety Operations and Training Center will be held in March. Details will be announced in February.