03/04/13 — Police running short of storage

View Archive

Police running short of storage

By John Joyce
Published in News on March 4, 2013 1:46 PM

The Goldsboro Police Department is running out of storage space. A law passed in 2009 extended the requirements surrounding the various lengths of time evidence must be held based on crime and conviction criteria.

In many cases, the evidence collected by investigators must be secured for the life of the sentence, and in other cases, for the life of the convict.

The Goldsboro Police Department and the city of Goldsboro have been discussing for years the likelihood that a new space would have to be made available for evidence storage -- with enough room to meet storage needs for the next 30 years.

"By 2014, we will exceed the (current) space requirements," GPD Chief Jeff Stewart said.

Maj. Alton King, commander of investigations for the department, said a certain level of security is required to be maintained. Right now, there are two secure storage areas within the police station at 204 S. John St. One storage area is dedicated to evidence, the other to seized weapons.

Stewart made a proposal to the council during the annual City Council retreat at the Goldsboro Municipal Golf Course on Feb. 13, complete with slides and computer-generated images, for a two-story addition to the current police and fire complex on South John Street.

"This just the first proposal, "Stewart said. The city has not allocated any amount of money to the expansion and no real feasibility studies have yet been conducted."

About two years ago, the department upgraded its current storage areas to meet the growing needs for storage and security, but Stewart and King said that those steps only bought them about five years.

The proposal put forth to the council showed a potential addition to the current police department that would be built where the model Air Force jet sits. The building would be built adjacent to, but not on top of, the current facility.

Assistant City Manager Tasha Logan confirmed that there are no official plans yet for the add-on, but said the goal was to keep things centrally located and to minimize disruption.

"The plane could be incorporated to some other area downtown," Ms. Logan said.

This year, council members are hoping to put some funds in the city's budget to have experts look into the options, she said. How much, she added, is still too early to tell.

In 2009 or 2010, Ms. Logan said, there was a discussion about using the old CP&L building across the street from the police/fire complex, but the decision was made then not to purchase any outside property. The consensus was to see what could be done with the current building.

In addition to the extra storage space, a two-story building would allow more room for the Police Department's investigations squad.

"It's not a want. It's a need," King said. "The new building isn't intended for cosmetics, it's for command and control.

"This is the best option. If you were to look out there in the space we have now, if I were to get even one more detective assigned, just one, I'd have no place to put him."

Whether for storing evidence or to house the men who collect it, the Police Department and the council will have to come to a conclusion soon on a new space.

At the rate things are going, Stewart said, space and time are running out.