By Rod Lee
The first clue that the Sutton Police Department’s new headquarters at the intersection of Central Turnpike and Putnam Hill Road is a vast improvement over its former home comes immediately upon entering the lobby of the building.
“This area alone is half the size of what we had” in total, Lt. Dave Perry said in welcoming a visitor for a guided tour of the premises. There was unmistakable pride—and a little incredulousness—in his voice as he let this observation sink in.
“There are bathrooms!” Lt. Perry said by way of further enunciating the difference between what the Sutton PD occupied then and what it has to work with now.
It is a well-known fact that the department’s longtime base of operations on Uxbridge Road in Sutton Center was woefully inadequate. The replacement facility in which Chief Dennis Towle and his officers began taking up residence on June 13th is the best that taxpayer money allocated for the purpose could buy. Long overdue, it is Sutton’s answer to similar showpieces that have popped up in such neighboring municipalities as Grafton and Uxbridge. Credit, Lt. Perry said, goes to Tecton Architects and Nelco (the general contractor for the project).
As will become apparent to all who attend an Open House the Sutton PD is hosting on July 13th, the facility is friendly without being vulnerable to mischief and functional without being pretentious.
With a wave of his hand, Lt. Perry, accompanied by Det. Matt Bohanen, motioned toward a door that can be accessed only with a key card. “Completely secure,” he said. This is true of the entire building.
Step by step they walked first into a brightly lit training room, which can accommodate about forty people, seated, and which, Lt. Perry pointed out, can be used for public meetings; then past a window overlooking a carport and a generator (“it’s required,” he said, of the generator); then into the dispatch area (“entirely self-sufficient”), with its two work stations, forty-nine cameras and audio and visual capabilities; and on through the first floor as Lt. Perry pointed out a bistro, a patrolmen’s report room, a sergeants’ room, a room set aside for juveniles, mailboxes, an administration room, a conference room, the chief’s office, a public interview room and finally into an elevator that took the three of them downstairs.
On the lower level, more of what the department didn’t have before: a quartermaster’s room, an evidence room (evidence can be passed through a receptacle into the room after which the door of the receptacle is locked “and no one can get at it again”), a communications/equipment room, a lab for evidence processing, a laundry room, a fitness room, a locker room, showers, an investigation/interview room, a booking area, three cells and a garage.
“The old lockers were not even big enough to accommodate a hanger,” Lt. Perry said, while Det. Bohanen opened his locker to reveal the amount of space he has at his disposal.
Det. Bohanen noted the cider-block construction and said “in the old place you scraped up against the blue board.”
Lt. Perry, a big man with graying hair and an amiable personality, is going to enjoy his last fourteen months or so on the job in the new facility before he retires. Yes, he remembers the Blue Jay Restaurant, which had sat on the site until destroyed by fire in December of 2005. “I had a few pints there!” he said.
The response to the new, approximately 13,000-square-foot building on the Sutton PD’s Facebook page has been favorable, Lt. Perry said. “There is nothing obscene” about the dollars spent to bring together a building that is so masterfully outfitted and that will serve the department and the community long into the future, he said.
“It is a beautiful facility,” he said.
Contact Rod Lee at [email protected] or 774-232-2999.