Warrington Township’s population has nearly doubled since its police station was built 25 years ago, said the township’s police chief, Daniel Friel, during a groundbreaking ceremony for the municipalty’s new police complex.
The approximately 18,000-square-foot building, which will be built adjacent to the township’s administrative center on Easton Road, is “the largest municipal project in the township’s history,” Friel told the audience of local and state officials gathered under a white tent, where a line of shovels and hardhats waited.
As Warrington’s population has grown, so too has its police staff, noted the chief. Overcrowding, he said, has been a problem for years. “They are packed in like sardines …it does not suit the needs of today’s policing,” said state Sen. Maria Collett (D-12th).
“There were leaking sewer pipes …it was too hot or too cold. It was inadequate,” said Fred Gaines, chairman of Warrington’s board of supervisor. A committee to explore options to expand the station considered other properties and adding a second story to the existing building, noted Friel.
“Here we stand today, after 2½ years, countless meetings and site visits,” said the chief, “well-equipped for decades to come.”
The new complex, expected to cost about $8.5 million, will have separate cells and holding areas for men, women and juveniles, state-of-the art communication systems and “hoteling.” That term, explained Luber, means there will be private areas for victims of domestic violence and other crimes, as well as space for FBI teams or others that may need it while investigating cases, Luber said.
State Rep. Todd Polinchock (R-144th) applauded the township’s commitment to modernize its police station. “It will improve the safety of all our residents in Warrington…including better (means) to combat the opioid epidemic,” he said.
Asked about the building’s proximity to Titus Elementary School, Luber said he believes it will be a deterrent. “It will be a benefit to the school.”
The project is expected to be completed in the summer of 2020.