$2.4M Makeover Slated for Western District Police Station

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Baltimore Police Western District station will soon see a $2.4 million makeover.

Alex DeMetrick has more.

The renovation plans were announced Tuesday. The project will be funded primarily by private contributions from the JS Plank and DM DiCarlo Family Foundation, the Baltimore Ravens, Under Armour, Wells Fargo, the Warnock Foundation, Maggie and Reed Cordish, BGE, St. Agnes Hospital, Comcast and the Abell Foundation.

“This public-private partnership is a great example of Baltimore’s potential,” said Steve Sharkey, Director of Baltimore City Department of General Services. “By leveraging City funds and private donations, we are able to turn the Western District facility into a top-notch policing and community oriented facility that can better serve our citizens.” The Department of General Services has performed many repairs to the Western District over the past year, mostly on the north side of the building. These include renovated offices, renovated flooring, asbestos removal, HVAC upgrades and new bathrooms on the first level, which are currently under construction.

With the death of Freddie Gray, the Western District station was the focus of community protests.

BALTIMORE, USA - APRIL 21: Thousands march through in front of the Baltimore Police Department's Western District police station to seek justice for the death for Freddie Gray who died from injuries suffered in Police custody in Baltimore, USA on April 21, 2015. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

BALTIMORE, USA – APRIL 21: Thousands march through in front of the Baltimore Police Department’s Western District police station to seek justice for the death for Freddie Gray who died from injuries suffered in Police custody in Baltimore, USA on April 21, 2015. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

“We want to take the conversation off of the street corner and into a place that’s safe and that’s welcoming,” official said.

The improvements include secure locker rooms, “updated restrooms that reflect gender diversity,” conference rooms for interviews and proper training space and equipment.

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“Community public safety requires collaboration between our public servants and our neighborhoods.  Fundamentally, our police stations should serve their most important customer – the residents of Baltimore,” said project leader Scott Plank.  “War Horse is honored to program a police station into a place where officers can feel a sense of pride and purpose.  With an updated floor plan, which includes safe public spaces and a community reflection garden, the Western District can invite the community into their “house” to build positive non-enforcement interactions while protecting the security and discretion of the officers.”

When the renovations are complete official say the police station will function as the hub of the community.

“The needs of our officers, as well as our neighbors, were central to the redesign and have all been incorporated into the revitalized facility,” said Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis. “The new space will allow for enhanced officer performance and community involvement. Our goal is to create a place where everyone feels safe, respected, and valued.”

The project is slated to begin after expected approval by the Board of Estimates this week.

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