New University Police Station Open

Police Station Is In Full Use

On March 22, while students were on spring break, the new Frostburg State University police station was opened for full use. The campus community was informed of the public safety building’s opening via a campus-wide email.

The Bottom Line had the opportunity to tour the new building with Chief Cynthia Smith on Tuesday, March 28.

The new building was inspired by the need to achieve the accreditation of the police force on campus.  To achieve that accreditation, the site that the university police were using had to meet specific requirements for them to be a functioning police force.  The university police building that was in use prior to the new building did not meet those requirements.  The need of this building was based on accreditation specifics, and state requirements.  Funding to complete this project was provided by the state of Maryland.

The police station, which is now located on the corner of College Avenue and University Drive, was designed for functionality, durability, ease of maintenance, and accreditation.  The countertops are made of solid material and are attached to the wall for durability, and the flooring is terrazzo and epoxy for maintenance and durability.

The building is split up into different corridors to accommodate all of the operations of the station.  There is the management and administration side of the building, and then there is the communications and law enforcement operations side.

The public entrance is on the College Avenue side of the building. Upon entering, you are in a secure area, and if your business requires entry further, you will be escorted.  This is strictly for security purposes.  Behind the glass windows is where the dispatcher sits, and has the authority to buzz you in or not.

Once The Bottom Line was buzzed in for the tour, Chief Smith came to the door to greet and begin the tour.  The tour began with the management and administrative side of the building, and then continued to the communications and law enforcement side.

Dispatch center in the new university police building. (TBL/Nicole Leighty)
Dispatch center in the new university police building. (TBL/Nicole Leighty)

On the management and administrative side of the building, Chief Smith, along with the sergeants and corporals, all have offices to give them a private area to do paper work and to make sure everything is in order.  The three sergeants on the police force all share a single office in the building.  Chief Smith has set up her office to be very open, and welcoming.  She firmly believes that her office should be somewhere that students and parents can come if they have questions or concerns without being uncomfortable with being in a police station.

Chief Smith reiterated several times that since the building is open, students are more than welcome to reach out to her for a tour of the building.  Chief Smith and the officers under her are very proud of the building, and they wish that the students will soon follow that pride.

Following the portion of the tour that showcased the offices of Chief Smith, and the sergeants, Chief Smith showed off the locker rooms, the fitness room, and the break room for the officers.  All of these spaces are accessible to all University Police employees.

Moving to the opposite side of the building is the communications and law enforcement side.  On this side of the building is where the officers can store their gear, perform intakes, and store evidence.  All of the talk on campus about holding cells in the new building is true.  In the back of the building is an area that is specifically used for if an officer who has performed an arrest.

One of two holding cells at the new university police building. (TBL/Nicole Leighty)
One of two holding cells at the new university police building. (TBL/Nicole Leighty)

One of the several new features of the new building includes a much better evidence storage unit.  This room is most likely one of the most secure rooms in the building among other important storage areas.  In addition to the evidence storage, the new building allowed room for a property storage room for students who accidentally leave property behind while living on campus.  There is also the opportunity to store hunting rifles under police supervision in a specific room.

While the building is now open and the university police have moved into the building, there are still several features that are being worked on and added to.  Once the parking lot is paved there will be 66 spots returning to that lot.  It has not been disclosed wether or not they will be student or faculty spots.  For now, the old building is staying as is with the state fleet vehicles remaining in that parking lot.  It has not been decided what the function of the old police station will be.

If interested in a tour of the new station, please contact Chief Smith.  She will be more than willing to give a tour.


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