Here's a look at Darien's new Police Department Headquarters building, reconstructed in 2011 and 2012.
The building at 25 Hecker Ave. looks somewhat different to members of the public who go in the front lobby (the subject of this photo gallery), but it looks a lot different to the patrol officers who use it as a base of operations, and the detectives and other department staff who work from there. With a completely new jail area, it looks completely different to arrestees.
In this and three future photo galleries, Darien Patch will show you what it looks like inside, so that you'll see what the patrol officers (Part 2, Saturday), detectives (Part 3, Sunday) and arrestees (Part 4, Monday) who you read about in news reports are looking at when they enter the building.
You'll also see what facilities are now available to the town's police force—modern equipment, facilities for working (locker rooms, rooms for evidence, evidence processing, interviewing people, holding arrestees, patrol shift briefings), for training (the Training Room, the firing range) and even eating and exercising.
From 2011 to 2012, the Darien Police Department Headquarters building was essentially reconstructed, with a building expansion in the back and toward the west, reconstructed rooms inside, a major upgrade to the communications system and repairs to the structure, originally erected in 1932.
From the front, much of it looks the same, and the public lobby in the front looks much as it previously did, but in many ways it's a new, larger building, partly in an old shell.
The $17.68 million project was approved by the RTM in April, 2008, but the economy caused town officials to put construction on hold until February 2011. The building was completed by July 2012.
The new building includes an indoor shooting range, a four-bay vehicle maintenance garage, a fitness facility and a training room which also serves as the town’s Emergency Operations Center during emergencies, such as Storm Sandy. Prisoner and evidence processing spaces have been upgraded.
Editor's note much of this information was taken from an announcement previously posted on Darien Patch.