For the past 15 years, the City of Claremont has researched options for replacing the Police Station on Bonita Avenue. The existing station no longer meets the needs of the Police Department and community.
The City, with the assistance from citizens, developed and revised conceptual plans for a new police station from 2014-2018. To pay for the cost of building a new station, the City Council placed a parcel tax before voters on November 3, 2015 and a General Obligation tax before voters on June 5, 2018. Both Measures PS and SC failed to get the 2/3 vote needed to pass.
On June 26, 2018, the City Council unanimously decided to form a Citizens Advisory Committee to advise the City Council on possible actions to address the condition of the station. To get a diverse group of residents for the Citizens Advisory Committee, the City advertised for applicants with a range of opinions on the previous measures. The Mayor selected Committee members in August.
The Committee will meet monthly from August of 2018 to June of 2019. All meetings will be noticed and open to the public. Staff is requesting the Committee make a final recommendation in May of 2019 to present to the Council in June of 2019.
The objective of the committee will be to review and advise the City Council on the following issues related to the Police Station:
- Identify issues of concern raised during two previous ballot measures.
- Review Police Department needs and conceptual plans for the replacement of the existing station.
- Analyze possible funding for the replacement of the station.
- Identify alternatives to building a new station.
In addition to establishing the Committee, the City Council directed staff to research companies and methods of engaging the community and gathering their opinions. Community input will be essential to deciding the future of the station.
Overview of the Claremont Police Department
The Police Department consists of 40 sworn police officers, 3 sworn reserve police officers, 25 full-time professional employees, 8 part-time employees, and over 30 volunteers. The Police Department operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Police Department consists of the Administrative Services Division, Operations, and Support Services. The Administrative Services Division consists of administration, community and volunteer programs, and emergency operations. The Operations Division consists of traffic and patrol and special programs such as the school resource officer, the Detective Bureau and K-9 unit. The Support Services Division oversees records, dispatch, impound, and the jail.
Why does the City need a new Police Facility?
The current Police Station, located at 570 West Bonita Avenue, was evaluated as part of a comprehensive Needs Assessment study in 2016 that looked at the needs of the Police Department, the condition of the existing station, the feasibility of retrofitting the existing station, and logistics of constructing a new facility at the current site. The Ad Hoc Committee evaluated the finding of the study and determined the existing station is no longer able to serve the needs of the Police Department. The wear and tear of round the clock usage has deteriorated the station. Heating and air conditioning are failing and regularly overheat, putting computer and communication systems at risk.
The existing facility was built for a much smaller, all male police force. Since the facility opened, the number of employees working out of the station has more than doubled. The 42-year old electrical and mechanical systems are failing to meet the demands of today’s advanced computer and communication systems. The equipment and technology used by a modern police force is vastly different from the tools and equipment used by police in the 1970's. The Claremont Police Department relies on computer systems for dispatch, communications, investigations, reports, and monitoring the Automated License Plate Reader Video System. The Department has invested in technology to assist officers in working more efficiently and effectively.
The police station serves as the City’s primary emergency response center with operations running 24 hours a day. The station also houses a Type I jail facility that books and hold persons for crimes for up to 96 hours before they are arraigned and turned over to the County. The jail holds up to 18 inmates who are monitored, fed, and cared for by the jail staff. The jail is currently certified by the Department of Corrections but is at risk of losing certification due to its age and design.
In addition to the lack of space, one of the main reasons the City began researching a new facility is the fact that the bunker-style building does not meet current earthquake standards. The station, made of cinder blocks, was not engineered to withstand the shaking and rolling of a major earthquake. Since the Northridge earthquake, the State passed the Essential Services Building Seismic Safety Act, which requires police stations, fire stations, and hospitals to be built to one and one-half the building code standards today to help ensure that these critical facilities are able to function during and after an earthquake.
At the time the station was built, the Americans With Disabilities Act did not exist. The Act established building standards to ensure public buildings are accessible to persons with disabilities. The current station does not meet the standards required by the ADA.
Proposed New Facility
The design for the proposed facility is not final. the City hired an architect to create conceptual designs. If funding is approved, the final designs would go through a public input process and be sent to City Commissions for input.
For larger images, please view the Presentation in the link above.