PLYMOUTH – Following a visit last week by Congresswoman Jahana Hayes to the local police station, Mayor David Merchant is hopeful that she will help the town acquire additional funding for a modern building.
Merchant said Hayes met with Police Captain Ed Benecchi last Friday to tour the department, which is located in the same building as city hall.
“Captain Benecchi provided her with a tour that really shows how outdated and out of compliance our present department facility really is,” said Merchant. “We are starting to work on our PD Accreditation which may be very difficult to obtain in this present facility.”
Merchant said that he is grateful for Hayes’ visit.
“It was nice to have her here,” he said. “She asked a lot of questions; she was very helpful. Her husband is a police officer, which I think put her in the frame of mind where she knew what she was looking for. We have been working very hard on this and with the help of our local legislators, I am hopeful that the Governor will sign off on our funding help that will greatly assist us in making this vision become a reality,” he said.
Prior to covid-19, Merchant said that the town had received an $11 million estimate for the cost to build a new police station. This included $8 million for the building itself and $3 million for architectural costs and furnishing. Unfortunately, Merchant said that this number will likely change post-pandemic.
“We don’t know what the exact number will be until plans are drawn up and there are bids, but I expect it will be much higher than a year-and-a-half ago,” he said. “A lot of construction materials have been going up in price.”
A new police station, Merchant said, would also be brought up to code and have newer technology. It would also address current space issues involving the jail cells.
“We don’t have enough jail cells and there is no area designated for male or female,” he said. “There is also not enough room for juveniles.”
Merchant hopes that, with Hayes seeing the community’s needs first hand, funding for the creation of a new police station may be included on the next State Bond agenda.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or email@example.com.