With safety center off table, Raleigh looks at possible site for 911
Posted February 6, 2012
Updated February 7, 2012
Raleigh, N.C. — The City Council on Tuesday approved studying a north Raleigh site for an upgraded 911 center.
City Manager Russell Allen presented some city property on Brentwood Road, across the street from the Raleigh IcePlex, as a potential site for the 911 center, an emergency operations center, a technology data center and an operational field office or district substation for the Raleigh Police Department.
The City Council approved spending $600,000 for an environmental assessment, threat assessment and engineering studies of the site.
The move comes almost two years after plans for a $205 million public safety center downtown were shelved because the council couldn't agree on how to pay for it.
The Raleigh Police Department vacated its building at the corner of McDowell and Hargett streets to make way for the proposed Clarence E. Lightner Public Safety Center, which would have housed the city's fire and police departments and other emergency services, including the 911 center.
"The issue has not gone away, and we need a new 911 center," Councilman John Odom, who voted against the downtown proposal, said Monday. "We definitely do not want to get behind the eight-ball with our police department. We want to make sure they have the right equipment and the right stuff to be able to get to your house on time, so I'm in favor of looking at this."
Raleigh's 911 center is now in a cramped bunker in the basement of City Hall, and city officials have said for years that it needed to be expanded.
Allen said the 6-acre Brentwood Road site could be master-planned so that it could meet the needs of the police and fire departments in the future.