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On the afternoon of January 24, 2005, Daisy Troop 612 toured the new 32,000 square foot, Hasbrouck Heights Police Department at 248 Hamilton Avenue. The police facility supports 32 police officers and 2 civilian employees.
The Troop gathered after school in the conference room located just off the main entrance. The tour was led by D.A.R.E Lieutenant Shawn Mullins who opened the door to this secure facility and took the Daisies to the area where officers have access to two computers to write reports or check their individual mail box.
The next stop was the Records Room where Lt. Mullins explained the function of the Police Department Records Room. Patrons seeking records such as an accident report speak through a bullet proof window with a speaker.
The third stop was "sally port" which is a secured garage located between the Police and Fire Departments.
Here an arresting officer can drive his suspect into the building. Once inside, the garage door automatically closes and the room is secured. This minimizes the opportunity for a suspect to escape during transfer. Once inside, the officer must put his weapon in a special locker before the suspect is taken from the vehicle. A large window allows the main desk to view all activities.
One of the seven radio cars was positioned in the garage and Lt. Mullins gave the scouts a tour of the vehicle and its complement of sophisticated computer and communications gear. He also explained that patrol cars are mobile police stations that are equipped with radar, video camera, first aid kit, flares, fire extinguisher, HAZMAT suit, oxygen and defibrillator. The young ladies were permitted to sit in the vehicle, but to their disappointment, could not turn on the siren.
The tour advanced past special benches with handcuffs, near the fingerprinting and mug-shot area. Lt. James Krisinski and Det. Sgt. Joseph Rinke took their fingerprints and mug shots and gave them as souvenirs.
After washing their hands from the fingerprint ink, the Daisies passed through a door into a short hallway -- with two state-of-the-art holding cells. Lt. Mullins called to their attention, that at the doors entrance, there was a special "hot button" that alerts the department of emergencies. These prefabricated self contained cells were installed during the construction of the building.
Each cell has a solid steel door with observation holes and special drawer to pass through food trays. This minimizes the contact between the officer and the prisoner.
The cells are equipped with video and audio direct to the police desk officer who can observe the suspect at all times. Lt. Mullins led the ladies inside one of the cells and detailed several items to include a camera , fire suppression system, a phone (calls are paid for by the suspect), etc.
A special stairway near the holding cell area can privately and securely take prisoners to the court holding area upstairs.
From the holding cell area, Lt. Mullins took the Daisies to one of the two interrogation rooms and called to their attention the one-way mirror where observers can watch the interview. He also noted the breathalyzer unit on the table.
The next stop on the tour was the main desk area. Here the desk sergeant sits at the central command center. From this position, the officer can view people entering the main door through a bulletproof window. Public to main desk communication is via a speaker system and material must pass through a special window box.
The desk officer can also view the "sally port" through a window. This command center has access to about 16 video surveillance cameras inside and outside the buildings as well as the Municipal Complex at 320 Boulevard. This capability will soon be able to access the surveillance cameras located at the Hasbrouck Heights High School.
At the desk sergeant's finger tips is an array of electronic and communication equipment. The traditional phone has been replaced with a mouse and head set. Caller ID tells the officer the location of the call. 911 is served at this location.
The Department is connected to the NCIC (the National Crime Information Center). The state of the art radio system allows the desk officer to communicate with HH Police and Fire Departments as well as communication with surrounding jurisdictions utilizing the Bergen County Alert System and the NJ State Police Emergency System (SPEN).
Additional capabilities at the main desk include: the ability for the desk officer to instant message directly to each patrol vehicle in Hasbrouck Heights as well as patrol vehicles in other towns.
After inspecting the command center, the Daisies were led to the back of the building.
Lt. Mullins showed them the refrigerated evidence lockers which can hold blood and urine samples that are to be sent to the lab.
Across from the evidence lockers is the department's kitchen area -- where the "Daisies" promptly looked into the refrigerator.
Further down the hall was the secured weapons room. Next to the weapons room is the conference room -- that has two one way mirrors that view the interrogation rooms.
Lt. Mullins led the Troop through various offices for the Chief, Captains, Detectives, D.A.R.E., etc. He informed the Daisies that the basement area had the officer roll call room, training area, men's and women's locker rooms, weight room and various storage rooms. Along the west side of the building is police vehicle parking, generator and various radio antennas.
Lt. Mullins then led them upstairs to the Municipal Court where the ladies had a chance to sit in the Judge's chair and gleefully use the gavel. Upon the conclusion of the tour, Lt. Mullins answered questions. ###
For more information about the Hasbrouck Heights Police Department go to: www.hhpd.com ###
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