Site map of the proposed new headquarters building placement and preliminary design for the overall property. (Photo from the Port Washington Police District)

Site Work To Begin At Future Home Of Port Washington Police District Headquarters

The Port Washington Police District (PWPD) would like to notify the Port Washington community that a bid has been accepted by RFC Residential Fence Corp to install a fence around the perimeter of the district’s property planned for the new headquarters. The new facility is located at 128 Main St., previously known as Knowles Funeral Home.

The fencing, which is expected to be completed in the coming months, will be installed to better protect the property and ensure safety for the community. Demolition of existing structures is expected to begin late spring to summer.

“Activity on the site is certainly exciting as we begin to execute the preliminary site work needed to finalize plans for the new headquarters,” said PWPD Chairperson Angela Lawlor-Mullins. “Turning these blighted properties into a community asset is going to take a significant amount of work and time, but we are committed to being good neighbors and ensuring Port Washington residents always have the latest news and updates about the project.”

As the perimeter fence is being installed, the district is simultaneously soliciting a Request for Proposals (RFP) to find a qualified contractor to demolish the existing buildings on the site. The district has already undergone an extensive environmental review to ensure any potentially harmful materials currently existing within the buildings are identified and removed prior to demolition.

“There could be some dust and debris as a result of the existing building demolition, so we wanted to ensure that any materials potentially escaping the property during the process are not hazardous in any way,” said PWPD Commissioner JB Meyer. “Thankfully, the detailed review completed on each of the buildings slated for demolition found minimal environmental concerns, all of which will be abated.”

Once the fencing is up and the existing buildings are demolished, the site will start to take shape and lend itself to be better visualized for its proposed plan. The district has also provided what its preliminary site plan will look like based on the size needs of the new headquarters.

“The proposed positioning of the building will not only ensure this building is visible and easily identifiable from Main Street but ensure its footprint exists on the portions of the property that are commercially zoned,” said PWPD Commissioner Sean McCarthy. “Our goal with the site plan and with all of the screening and buffers to be developed is to limit the visual impacts to surrounding neighbors as much as possible, while also ensuring the design of the new facility matches the charm and character of Port Washington.

Red lines on the map indicate where the new perimeter fence will be installed. (Photo from the Port Washington Police District)

More about the Project
The current police headquarters has reached the end of its useful life. Originally built in 1958 to accommodate 35 officers and staff, the facility has undergone several renovations and expansions over the years, with a third-party study completed in the 1990s determining that a new facility was needed.

The district currently has a workforce of 80, including uniformed officers and support staff, who are crammed into spaces designed for less than half as many individuals. The original headquarters was also not designed to anticipate the technology and electrical needs of a modem facility or to be ADA-compliant.

The new headquarters is being specifically designed to ensure it is as green and sustainable as possible, with the potential to become a LEED certified structure. Aside from providing adequate spaces for officers and staff, the new facility will also feature a much-needed multi-purpose room, which will be used to host district meetings, trainings and community meetings for small to mid-sized gatherings. Parking and vehicle storage has been a perennial issue with the existing facility. The new facility will boast ample space for headquarters parking as well as the storage of district vehicles and equipment.

While the building will be on Main Street, one of the busiest parts of town, the police district doesn’t expect any increase in traffic.

“There couldn’t be more traffic than at the funeral home,” Police Chief Robert Del Muro told the Port Washington News. “Also, our police department is not a heavily trafficked building. The police officers don’t respond out of here. They relieve and respond from the street. Patrol will be coming in to hand in reports, sign things or come in to use facilities. But routinely, for the calls, when the police respond, they’re on the street. In the building will be admin and detectives.”

When the PWPD voted to approve the purchase of the new building, they went door to door around the new location to talk to the building’s neighbors about the plans for the new headquarters. Chief Del Muro shared

that one of the most popular questions was about what would happen with the back area.
“There will be no entrance or exits onto Webster Avenue. Our idea is that only off Mackey Avenue will be the entrance for the police and off Main Street will be the entrance for the public who may need to come in,” explained Chief Del Muro. “There will be nothing coming out or going into the property on Webster.”

For more information about the Port Washington Police District and the plans to build a new headquarters in the community, please visit Residents who have questions about this project or are interested in taking a tour of the existing headquarters to see the need for a new facility themselves are encouraged to contact [email protected].

—Original press release from the Port Washington Police District with additional reporting by Julie Prisco

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