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|Craig Kelley for Cambridge City Council in 2015|
|Because Neighborhoods Count|
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. . . Cambridge's Police Officers deserve a better headquarters than what they have now . . .
New Police HQ a dubious project
At the January 27 Riverside Neighborhood Association meeting, representatives from the Cambridge Police Department gave a detailed presentation on the need for a new and upgraded Police Station someplace within Cambridge. It is clear, from the malfunctioning elevators to the wintertime mosquito infestation to the faulty plumbing that Cambridge's Police Officers deserve a better headquarters than what they have now.
However, it was also clear from public comments at the meeting that before we build the station, we need to make sure that both the future Police Station and the Police Force itself will meet neighborhood needs as well as meeting those of the Department. Do the people who live and work in Cambridge want vibrant Police Substations in various parts of the City (as opposed to the unplumbed trailer on Rindge Ave)? Do we want a Police Department that considers traffic safety a core task? Is evening parking enforcement a job we should continue to expect our Police to do? Will the Police Department take a more active neighborhood role in homeland security preparations? How much public access should there be to the station and how much vitality should a station be expected to contribute to the surrounding area.
If the City Manager were to create a panel with an appointee from each Councilor, along with two or three of his own, we could answer these and other pressing questions reasonably quickly. Then we could go about building a Police Station and Police Force that works for everybody.