Nederland PD moves, public safety complex almost done
On July 2013, the Nederland Police Department relocated from its 1400 Boston Ave. location to a temporary facility on Nederland Avenue while a permanent station was undergoing renovations and builders worked to create what would be the Homer E. Nagel Public Safety Complex. Now, police are back home at their old Boston Avenue location, and according to Nederland Police Chief Darrell Bush, they couldn’t be happier.
Bush reports that the new police station is a huge improvement over the old one, which served as the location for the police department, the fire department and city hall. The new public safety complex now houses only the police and the fire departments, providing more room for personnel and allowing space for an emergency command center to be utilized when necessary, like during a hurricane.
“We have new, larger offices,” Chief Bush described during a tour of the newly renovated police station. “Everyone has more room. We have offices for our detectives, for the court administrator, one for the prosecutor and judges offices. We have the emergency operations center, a new courtroom, an armory, a new room for evidence storage.”
Bush says the new design creates for a better “flow” throughout the facility and offers more modern and efficient fixtures and equipment.
“It’s a lot more modern than it used to be,” Bush asserts.
IT Director William Spell says he has worked for the department for well over five years and is pleased to have a new space in which to work.
“We stay pretty busy,” says Spell, who monitors communication in the tri-city region of Nederland, Port Neches and Groves served by his office.
Nederland Mayor R.A. “Dick” Nugent says the complex was made possible by utilization of grant funds, particularly a Port Security grant the city received. He says he’s pleased with the new building, still under construction on the fire department side, and he believes the community will be pleased with the finished product, a product that did not cost the city “a single dime.”
“We’ve waited a long time to have a system like this set up, like the emergency operations center we will have,” Nugent says. “Before that, during emergencies, we kind of had to fly by the seat of our pants. Now, with the new facility and equipment, we can take better care of our community during emergencies.”
Nugent says that before the renovations, the police department employed four detectives who all shared a single office, not an ideal situation.
“Now, each of them will have their own office,” Nugent reports.
He said that in addition to the newly renovated police station, the fire department is being completely reconstructed. The completed structure will provide contemporary sleeping quarters, ample space for training and three new “double-decker” bays, enough room to allow for six fire trucks, up from the two to three the two old bays would accommodate.
“At the old building, the firemen actually had to roll out their hoses on the sidewalk to dry,” Nugent describes. “Now, they will have a tower with a lift to hang them up to drip dry, which is how they should be done. They will also have room for rappelling training at the fire department, which is really important around here with all the industry.”
Nugent says he believes the new Homer E. Nagel Public Safety Complex will be a boon to Nederland and the surrounding area, and benefit both police officers and firefighters.
“This is a great expansion for both departments, police and fire,” Nugent says.
“All in all, it’s going to be a high-class, modern facility.”
Nugent says the new fire station should be up and running no later than the last week of September.
Police expect to be moved by Thursday, Aug. 21, at 5 p.m. Police services will not be interrupted during the transition. Because the front entrance is not yet completed, people needing to conduct police or court business at the station are instructed to go to the rear entrance of the police department and utilize the outside phone to contact dispatch.
The Nederland Municipal Court will not be accepting payments on Wednesday, Aug. 20, or Thursday, Aug. 21, due to the court moving back to their permanent facility. Court hearings scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 21, will still be held at 9 a.m. and 3: p.m. at the Port Neches Municipal Court.
If you have a payment due Aug. 20-21, city officials say you will be given until Monday, Aug. 25, by 5 p.m. to make your payment.