Splendora PD to move into new station in coming weeks

Splendora Police Department's new station is nearly ready for move-in.

Moving day is coming for Splendora Police Department. Construction of the agency’s new police station, located on the 26000 block of FM 2090 behind Splendora City Hall, will be finished in the next two weeks.

Inside the new police station Wednesday, July 25, workers with Cook Construction of Cleveland were installing carpet and countertops, and finishing up work on entry systems and cameras. The department’s seals are affixed to the exterior and the parking lot will be striped before move-in day.

The new 4,800-square-foot station, designed by Splendora Police Chief Wally Wieghat and his late father, is funded by $750,000 of a $3 million municipal bond the city obtained last summer. The remaining grants funds were used for rehabilitation of one basin at the wastewater treatment plant and repainting one of the city’s water towers.

The new station, which was built on land already owned by the city, is a major upgrade in space for the department’s 17 employees, who are now sharing a 600-square-foot area inside city hall. Once the department relocates, space will be freed up inside city hall for the utilities department.

The new station was designed to have a homey feel to it, which Sgt. Troy Teller said makes sense because officers spend so much of their time there.

“We are here 60-70 hours a week. Sometimes it feels like we live here,” Teller said.

A communications area at the entrance to the station will be where staff can greet citizens and respond to questions or complaints. The communications area will have hurricane-rated shatterproof glass. Above the communications desk will be a bank of televisions wired into camera systems for the police station, Splendora ISD and city hall.

“The city is planning to put up security cameras at the city parks, so our communications desk will be able to monitor those as well,” Teller said.

Next to the communications area will be an office for two warrant detectives, located in the front of the building because the detectives frequently meet with citizens looking to clear up warrants.

The building is equipped with two storage rooms – one is an armory with weapons and the other is for police gear such as vests and drug-testing equipment – and an evidence room, which is twice the size of the current evidence room.

“The evidence room is huge compared to what we have now,” said Teller, adding that there is no concern the department will soon outgrow the space. “We keep a tight hold on evidence.”

In the hallway outside the evidence room, a chute has been installed to make it easier for officers to drop evidence into a collection bin inside where it can be processed and catalogued at a later time by officers with access to the evidence room.

In designing the station, Chief Wieghat created a “bull pen” area where suspects will be held until they can be moved to the county jail.

“This is a secure room. You have to have a security card to get out, so let’s say one of the suspects gets combative and tries to push through the doors. He will not be able to get out,” Teller said.

The bull pen area is entered through two interior hallways and one outside access door from the sallyport. Inside the bull pen, there are two cells with concrete walls where suspects can be held. Each cell will have metal doors with a window of hurricane-rated shatterproof glass.

The station has two bathrooms that are equipped with walk-in showers to be used during natural disasters and other emergencies; a workout room with equipment that was donated to the department; a large kitchen and break room; a washroom with commercial washers and dryers, and an icemaker; and offices for Chief Wieghat, Teller, Lt. Alex Hadrych and Corp. Eran Denzler.

Teller is particularly excited about the training room. Currently Splendora PD has to borrow space from other agencies when it needs to conduct training sessions.

“The training room will have folding tables and chairs that can be moved to make way for cots in the event of a natural disaster or emergency,” he said. “This station is a huge upgrade for us.”

Vanesa Brashier, editor@bluebonnetnews.com

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