Scituate does not need to rush new police station

Scituate does not need to rush new police station

Scituate residents will go to polls on Jan. 23 to vote on a proposed new police station. While we strongly support the need for a new station, the project being promoted by the Town Council majority isn’t in the best interest of Scituate residents. We urge voters to avoid feeling as though “we have no choice but to support our police with this new station." We want you to know that there are alternatives that will better serve the needs of our police department, while at the same time creating a long-term solution for our community.

We should take a step back and establish a comprehensive plan for a new police station that considers all of the alternatives, including the best possible physical location for the station. We should immediately establish a new non-partisan committee (not dominated by the Town Council) to consider all alternatives in a fully transparent process with full community involvement throughout the process.

As is customary in most communities, we should also engage a consultant to assess the current and potential future needs of our town and to assist in the analysis of suitable locations for a new station. We have to plan for the long term, which should take into consideration the potential for future expansion into a full public safety complex to include our police, fire and rescue services. While the current needs can be met with a standalone police station, future generations will likely be faced with different challenges and the rash decision to locate a new station in Chopmist Hill significantly limits future options. A nationally recognized consultant prepared a study for the town and advised that newly built facilities should be located on sites that allow for future expansion of services. The consultant noted, “The importance of a quality location is shown to be an investment far beyond construction costs.” Why tie the hands of our children and grandchildren with a hastily made poorly planned project that has been orchestrated by the Town Council majority?

The Town Council majority has created an environment of panic and despair that has left many residents feeling as though there are no alternatives to their proposed police station in Chopmist Hill. Residents resent the fact that decisions made by current Town Council majority have left many to feel as though our backs are against a wall. Well, that doesn’t have to be the case.

We can vote "no" on Jan. 23 and send the Town Council majority the message that we don’t want to be forced to accept a poorly conceived project that doesn’t best serve the long term interests of our town. Let’s demand that a more thorough and transparent process be established for the placement and design of our new police station. Please come out and vote "no" on John Mahoney’s police station.

Dave Campbell

Scituate

Campbell is chairman of the Scituate Republican Town Committee.