Room Housing WUPD DirectLink Equipment Reaches 99 Degrees
The recent heat wave has apparently exacerbated existing problems in the West U. Police Station, with the room housing the city’s DirectLink equipment climbing to 99 degrees this morning. A few weeks ago, the city’s 911 equipment sounded a temperature alarm, and is now cooled by two portable fans.
Police Chief Ken Walker says at one point last week the heat came on in the station, but that problem was fixed. Today, offices are cool but the room housing the DirectLink home alarm monitoring system almost reached 100 degrees, and Walker says it is only a matter of time before the equipment is lost.
“We’ve had problems in the summer before, but we haven’t had the frequency of the problems we are seeing now,” said Walker.
Walker says repair crews were at the station this morning, and as of 10 a.m. the room had cooled to 92 degrees.
The needs of the police station were added last week to the list of council goals for the next two years, but were also on previous lists and nothing was done.
“These problems have existed since I started four years ago,” said former Councilwoman Phyllis Cohen as her second term ended. “For different reasons each council has put it on the back burner, but it really deserves to be on the front burner. We have talked views to the pool and dance studios…pretty window decorations and things like that. I think its incumbent on the next council to really look seriously at this. It has been along standing problem. There are a lot of reasons it has been passed along. I think parks and recreation for various reasons have taken priority.”
Cohen served on two councils that passed on the issue. Brinkley Sargent Architects did a “needs assessment” of the facility in 2002, and estimated a cost of $4.5 million to $5 million to build a facility that would meet the future needs of the department.
“The police department has outgrown the available space within the facility and the building shows signs of structural and roof problems,” according to the 2002 report. The current building, built in 1984, is 5,600 sq. ft. Brinkley Sargent recommended a 16,300 sq. ft. facility to provide enough space for the next 25 years.
“All areas are in need of space,” read the seven-year-old report. “Several staff members share many of the offices with inadequate areas for general office and supervisory functions. The space for processing and storage of evidence is severely undersized and not properly ventilated…the vehicle sally port is extremely small…the facility does not meet current ADA or Texas Accessibility laws.”