GERMANTOWN - Police Chief Peter Hoell has come up with an idea that will change the way evidence is processed in the community.
A new forensics evidence structure is slated to break ground this summer to address an issue of evidence integrity when it is processed by the police department.
"Right now, we have two vehicles that were involved in homicides that are sitting outside not in ideal conditions," Hoell said. "If you have vehicles sitting for a long time, you get mice and bugs, all kinds of stuff that go with not having a vehicle being moved when it’s outside."
Whenever the department has a criminal case involving a vehicle, police staff have to move squads out of the garage and leave them outside while they process evidence inside the garage. The evidence structure would give the department the enclosed space it would need to handle evidence more efficiently and accurately, according to Hoell.
"These conditions are just not ideal," Hoell said.
The cost of the structure will be paid for by impact fees.
"It was budgeted for approximately $150,000, but that’s being paid for by impact fees, so there’s a little under half of that money already there, and as new developments come and pay those impact fees, that money will go towards that structure," Hoell said.
The 45-by-40-foot structure will replace the footprint of the department's forensics lockup site.
“For most departments, this structure is attached to their existing garage because they all have a fenced-in area within the garage to put those vehicles in so that only certain people can have access to them to keep the integrity of the evidence," Hoell said. "Most agencies with buildings that are probably 10 years or younger usually have those within their garage structure already underground.”
The building construction oversight committee will recommend the official placement of the structure later this month; renderings of the site will follow.
"Hopefully, we’ll have some conceptual designs soon," Hoell said. "The plan would be to have this structure break ground and be built over this summer.”