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Regionalized services discussed for new Ansonia Police headquarters

February 8, 2019

ANSONIA-It’s certainly not the first effort at regionalization in the Naugatuck Valley.

But it could be the biggest.

Tentative plans for the city’s new police headquarters discussed by the Police Building Committee Feb. 6 include space for a regional police training center and a regional police shooting range.

And the hope is that a regional 9-1-1 dispatch center will be built eventually on the second floor. Should that happen the center would dispatch officers in surrounding communities to their calls.

“Regionalization is going to become a reality,” said retired Seymour Police Chief Michael Metzler, who sits on the building committee. “It’s just a matter of when and how.”

But Paul Heon, the committee’s chairman, stressed the regionalization being discussed here involves services not total police departments.

“When you have small communities like we do in the Valley it makes sense to pool resources,” he said. “This is a large building.”

It was suggested that Derby, Orange, Seymour and Woodbridge would be among the interested municipalities.

“All these towns are so close that this makes sense,” Metzler said. “There’ll be room enough to present all the latest and best practices in training.”

The discussion took place during the committee’s meeting with Jacunski Humes Architects of Berlin as the parties worked on floor plans to turn the former Farrel Corporate headquarters on 65 Main Street into a police station and senior center.

“When you’re building a new police headquarters you’ve got to be looking at what your needs will be 10 years from now,,” said Metzler, an Ansonia resident who also served as an Ansonia police lieutenant. He oversaw the building of Seymour’s new police headquarters in 2001.

The city plans to bond the $12 million it will cost to renovate the structure.

Sheila O’Malley, the city’s economic development director who sits on the building committee hopes to bid the work out this spring. The renovation could take a year.

On Feb. 8, Mayor David Cassetti signed a $22,000 contract with Absolute Estate Cleanout Services of Seymour to remove the furniture and shelving left behind when the rebranded Farrel-Pomini moved into their new Fountain Lake headquarters in 2017.

Absolute was the lowest of eight bidders with the highest at $58,500.

In December, Frank Pepe Construction removed thousands of ceiling tiles from the three floors to expose the space allowing access to the wiring and duct work.

The building spans three floors and totals about 85,000 square feet. It includes an indoor parking garage as well as an outdoor parking lot.

In contrast, the department’s current building—the deteriorating 123-year-old former Larkin Elementary School on Elm Street has little parking all of which is outside either on surrounding streets or on the former school’s playground.

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