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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

08/19/09 Bill Clark Takes A Tour De Force

Greenwich Gossip By "The Scribe Of Greenwich" Bill Clark

The New Cop Shop

Today your scribe toured the new Public Safety Complex, better-known locally as the "Police Palace". It comprises some 50,000 square feet +/-, he was told.Included are two bunk bedrooms (one for the lady officers, one for the gentlemen), a handful of bathrooms, a couple of showers, and, of course, the jaccuzzi in the chief's office.

Oh, yes, and a number of cells, each with its own stainless steel toilet. So actually we could be talking a couple of dozen "bedrooms" and "bathrooms" here, if your definition thereof isn't too high-falutin'.

The health club and locker rooms are patterned after those of some of the local country clubs, if with perhaps a few fewer amenities. The rooftop swimming pool has not yet been installed, having apparently fallen victim to various budgetary cuts along the way. But the view from the roof is quite extensive, ranging all over downtown Greenwich and across to Long Island. The chief's penthouse, also incomplete as of this writing, will have a panoramic 360-degree view, the better to keep an eye on the comings and goings of the citizenry of Greenwich.

Your scribe's question about the architectural style went unanswered. There's a certain classical Roman feel ab0ut the building, noticeable in the windows and the two-story atrium, as well as in the feeling of raw power exuding from the stonework. Albert Speer would probably not have felt out of place here. The "fortress Greenwich" feeling is reinforced by a plethora of bullet-resistant glass and a "sally port" which is somewhat like a medieval portcullis, operating sideways instead of vertically. Overlooking the walled courtyard thus created are the windows of the law offices of Ivey, Barnum and O'Mara, where no doubt the lucky attorneys will be able to have first pick of the potential clients brought in through the sally port.

This is not your parents' cop shop. It is massive, high-tech, and built to withstand power failures, hurricanes, telephone outages, and the onslaughts of angry mobs. If Louis XVI had had this building instead of the Bastille, he would never have lost his head.

At the moment, the sheer institutionalism of the structure leaves your scribe somewhat cold. But maybe that's because it's still largely empty and uninhabited. There will be a public ribbon-cutting ceremony on August 24th at ten a.m. If you are in the area, dear reader, you may want to attend and form your own opinions. It is, of course, the product of your taxpayer dollars at work.


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