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Allan

Michigan Tells Detroit to Fix its Police HQ

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Allan    0

It's about time they do something to the police heaquarters. The plan to move the headquarters to Michigan Central is just a pipe dream. In the article, it says that they hope to renovate MCS for $100-130 Million. I don't think Kwame's ever actually been in there. It's pretty bad...there's no way $130 Million would renovate the place.

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CRUMBLING QUARTERS: Detroit is told to fix its aging police station

The plans to move aren't ready and state wants cleanup

February 19, 2005

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The Detroit Police Headquarters at 1300 Beaubien is 82 years old. The state has cited it for safety violations and set a March 4 deadline to see some progress from the cash-strapped city.

BY BEN SCHMITT

FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER

While Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's year-old plans for moving Detroit police into the Michigan Central depot remain a mystery, state authorities have ordered the city to clean up its crumbling police headquarters.

The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) has demanded that the city fix safety hazards at the 82-year-old building -- designed by famed architect Albert Kahn -- at 1300 Beaubien downtown.

Among the complaints: Leaking water throughout the building; falling plaster and lead-based paint in work areas; exposed corroding pipes in the basement and property room; trip-and-fall hazards; filthy floors, and a garage that leaks into the basement.

State officials set a March 4 deadline for the city to provide details along with photographs and videotapes showing improvements.

"If they take correct action, we will close the file," John Brennan, division director for MIOSHA's general industry safety and health division, said Friday. "If we feel they haven't done it, we will assign a compliance officer to do an investigation."

Detroit police spokesman James Tate said the department is investigating the complaints.

"We take all allegations of hazardous working conditions that are submitted to MIOSHA very seriously, and as always we are working toward resolving any of those issues that are validated," he said.

A Police Department employee complained to MIOSHA, but Brennan did not release a name.

It's no secret that the headquarters is in a shambles.

In April 2002, then-chief Jerry Oliver ordered 70 employees to move from the seventh floor because of poor ventilation, leaky ceilings, mold, and vermin and pigeon droppings.

In 2001, the department closed its prisoner lockups on the eighth and ninth floors because of unclean, poorly ventilated and roach-infested conditions.

The building's sorry state led to momentum for a new police headquarters.

A year ago next Thursday, Kilpatrick announced that a building that is 10 years older and much more dilapidated than 1300 Beaubien -- the abandoned Michigan Central train station near Tiger Stadium -- would be transformed into the new police headquarters. With hundreds of broken windows and a spooky ambience, the depot's only use since the mayor's announcement has been as a set for a Hollywood science-fiction film.

City officials have been vague about the depot's cost of a renovation and a financing plan. Last year, Kilpatrick said it would cost $100 million to $130 million.

Mayoral spokesman Howard Hughey said he is uncertain of the depot's status.

"To my knowledge, I have not received any additional information," he said Friday. "I do know that it is something we would like to pursue and once all the necessary studies are completed, we hope to have something good to report."

Meanwhile, the city is struggling with drastic budget problems, and Kilpatrick must run for re-election this year.

Police Commissioner Megan Norris said Friday that she has not heard any discussion about a move in more than a year.

Contact BEN SCHMITT at 313-223-4296 or [email protected]

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bobliocatt    0

This is unfortunate. It seems like MCS situation was nothing but a wish, with the city actually having no way to really fund the restoration of the building. Kwame's term started out with a bang, but no its ending with a wimper.

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Allan    0

Kwame is full of broken promises, corruption, and scandal. I honestly feel that the city's revitalization efforts are sunk if he gets elected again this year.

I don't know enough about the other candidates to support either one of them though. Sharron McPhail has made mistakes in the past, but she aknowledges them, and admits that she let the media scar her reputation. Freman Hendrix has a good plan for the city, but he has a bit of a temper. He is not a real "people person", and is not well known throughout the city. Those who do know him know him because his place on the reform school board.

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