Frisco Police Department undergoes two-phase renovation
Remodeling at the Frisco police department begins Monday. Walls will be torn down and desks ripped out to prep the department for the renovation. While half of the department is under construction, officers will work shoulder to shoulder in the remaining half.
Crews will work to demolish parts of the department overnight between 6 p.m. and 7 a.m. until May 13.
“We need the space,” Frisco Police Chief Tom Wickman said.
The department will expand into a now-empty storage room in the back of 1 Main St. More rooms will be added to accommodate the department’s work.
Tables and stations within the department have served double-duty in the past, with officers cleaning guns, eating lunch and conducting drug tests feet from one another.
A new kitchen, bunks, lockers and an expanded squad room will be added by November. The expanded squad room will also be able to serve as a backup to the Emergency Operations Center at County Commons.
Frisco Town Council approved a contract with MW Golden Constructors for the project March 8 with a max cost of $1,576,791 million. Wickman said he expects it to cost about $1.2-million.
The change will be the first in Wickman’s 19-year-long career at Frisco Police Department. In that time, his team of officers has gone from seven to 12, and the average commute for officers has gone up, too.
The most important part of renovations will be creating a homely living space.
Many officers, unable to find housing in Summit County, commute from the front range. Chief Wickman said some drive over 60 miles one way from Beuna Vista or west Lakewood. When avalanches, car accidents and bad weather shut down I-70, officers will often spend the night in one of the department’s bunk beds.
But there haven’t always been enough beds.
“We’ve had people that had to sleep on the floor in sleeping bags,” Wickman said in 2020 when the Frisco Town Council first contracted designers.
Chief Wickman said he hopes the beds and kitchen will help retain more officers since creating a home-away-from-home environment could make the long commutes more bearable.
A kitchen with a sink and running water would be a start, Wickman thinks. Lockers that can store officer’s rifles would be another good step. Both will come with the renovations.
Officers will also no longer need to eat, clean rifles and conduct drug tests at the same table.
While Wickman feels he’s understaffed — especially when 40,000 winter tourists come through the valley — he doesn’t think the department’s poor conditions come from a lack of support.
“Our community has been great at supporting our officers,” he said.
The town expects construction to last 7.5 months, finalizing as 2022 comes to an end.
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