Local Politics

With safety center off table, Raleigh looks at possible site for 911

Posted February 6, 2012
Updated February 7, 2012

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— 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.

11 Comments

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  • bubbaw488 Feb 8, 2012

    It is time for the City of Raleigh to live up to the status of being the BEST PLACE to live. The old Police Station was built in 1959, and the upgrades cost more to cut new holes and run up-to-date cables, etc. than to build new. The upkeep again is astronomical. It is time for the City to help the economy by using some of the hoarded money that gives them a triple "A" rating.

  • Adolf Feb 7, 2012

    How many millions of US dollars was spent on the Lighter building allready????? And now they want to spend 600,000 more on a different site???? Really??? Taxpayers need to revolt and remove the politicians now!!!!

  • I_Would_Rather_Not_Say Feb 7, 2012

    Remodeling is not necessarily less expensive than building something new. I'm trying to figure out why the assessments are going to cost $600,000. Seems a bit excessive for a couple of assessments and a study.

  • westernwake1 Feb 7, 2012

    Here is the solution. Wake County Public Schools have all of these vacated buildings they have been trying to sell unsuccessfully. Raleigh should just take over one or more of these buildings, re-model them for a public safety center, and there is your solution. Would be cheaper than building a brand new center on purchased land.

  • cwmllc1952 Feb 7, 2012

    Sooo !! City Government can see the need to move out of Downtown and leave empty buildings. Which side of their face are they talking out of now?

  • br1z1z Feb 7, 2012

    Isn't the Wake County School System trying to sell three buildings? Why not buy and convert one of these. It's got to be cheaper than 205 mil and you save the 600K.

  • ILoveDowntownRaleigh Feb 6, 2012

    "Yeah, that is exactly what we need, more taxes in a state that is already the highest overall taxed state in the south. Maybe you and your friends and acquaintances who want this shrine can pay for the it yourselves." - bacchianm

    I expected to hear from your crowd on this blog ite, bacc. It's like this - you pay for nothing, you get nothing. I am struggling to keep my status as "middle-class" American, but I am willing to invest what it takes in tax money to make Raleigh a class city. Now is the time, we need the construction jobs, we need a centralized city facility, and we can get near-zero construction loans. Let's get on with it!

  • bacchianm Feb 6, 2012

    Better yet, I propose an up-or-down vote on the downtown Safety Center - NOW. I am willing to pay my share to make Raleigh a first-class city, and so are many other Raleighites I have spoken with.
    ILoveDowntownRaleigh

    Yeah, that is exactly what we need, more taxes in a state that is already the highest overall taxed state in the south. Maybe you and your friends and acquaintances who want this shrine can pay for the it yourselves.

  • ILoveDowntownRaleigh Feb 6, 2012

    I have a big problem with this article's headline "with the Safety Center off the table". Huh? It may be off Odom, Crowder, and Stephenson's table, but those of us who live in Raleigh 1) deserve a first-class downtown-situated Lightner Safety Center, and 2) we get to v-o-t-e. With no centralized downtown Safety Center in place by the next election, these guys are G-O-N-E!

    Better yet, I propose an up-or-down vote on the downtown Safety Center - NOW. I am willing to pay my share to make Raleigh a first-class city, and so are many other Raleighites I have spoken with.

  • superman Feb 6, 2012

    Close down the convention center and use it for the police department, the 911 center, the fire deparment, and anything else the city needs. That building should be large enough to handle everything. Why does the city think they should get into areas that are best suited for private enterprise? They can afford to build a convention center but cant afford to build a building for police and other departments. Wish people would run for public office that have at least finished the 6th grade.

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