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Hundreds attend police station opening in Northampton

  • "Look sad," asked Jennifer Gottlieb of Florence of her son, Ben, center, 8, and friend Sam Robbins, 5, of Williamsburg - and they obliged - for a photo opportunity in cell #2 at the new Northampton Police Department Headquarters on Saturday. The purely volunteer visit was part of the grand opening and public reception for the new facility on Center Street.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING

    "Look sad," asked Jennifer Gottlieb of Florence of her son, Ben, center, 8, and friend Sam Robbins, 5, of Williamsburg - and they obliged - for a photo opportunity in cell #2 at the new Northampton Police Department Headquarters on Saturday. The purely volunteer visit was part of the grand opening and public reception for the new facility on Center Street.
    KEVIN GUTTING Purchase photo reprints »

  • About 100 people stood on the deck of the new parking garage in a brisk freezing wind Saturday morning for the beginning of a grand opening and public reception for the new Northampton Police Department Headquarters on Center Street.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING

    About 100 people stood on the deck of the new parking garage in a brisk freezing wind Saturday morning for the beginning of a grand opening and public reception for the new Northampton Police Department Headquarters on Center Street.
    KEVIN GUTTING Purchase photo reprints »

  • About 100 people were on hand as Northampton Police Chief Russell Sienkiewicz, at podium in portico, extended a welcome to the grand opening reception Saturday for the new Northampton Police headquarters on Center Street.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING

    About 100 people were on hand as Northampton Police Chief Russell Sienkiewicz, at podium in portico, extended a welcome to the grand opening reception Saturday for the new Northampton Police headquarters on Center Street.
    KEVIN GUTTING Purchase photo reprints »

  • In a brief but emotional appearance, former Northampton Mayor Mary Clare Higgins, flanked by current mayor David Narkewicz, left, and Police Chief Russell Sienkiewicz, far right, offers thanks and congratulations to all those who made the new police headquarters a reality during a grand opening and public reception on Saturday.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING

    In a brief but emotional appearance, former Northampton Mayor Mary Clare Higgins, flanked by current mayor David Narkewicz, left, and Police Chief Russell Sienkiewicz, far right, offers thanks and congratulations to all those who made the new police headquarters a reality during a grand opening and public reception on Saturday.
    KEVIN GUTTING Purchase photo reprints »

  • Northampton Police Lt. Jody Kasper answers questions from the public in the Ready Room of the new department headquarters on Center Street during a grand opening and reception on Saturday. The screen behind her is a live feed monitoring the on-duty force at the moment.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING

    Northampton Police Lt. Jody Kasper answers questions from the public in the Ready Room of the new department headquarters on Center Street during a grand opening and reception on Saturday. The screen behind her is a live feed monitoring the on-duty force at the moment.
    KEVIN GUTTING Purchase photo reprints »

  • Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz, at podium, joins Police Chief Russell Sienkiewicz, left, in welcoming about 100 people to the grand opening and public reception on Saturday for the new police headquarters on Center Street. The crowd is standing on the top deck of the new parking garage located on the site of the former police station.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING

    Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz, at podium, joins Police Chief Russell Sienkiewicz, left, in welcoming about 100 people to the grand opening and public reception on Saturday for the new police headquarters on Center Street. The crowd is standing on the top deck of the new parking garage located on the site of the former police station.
    KEVIN GUTTING Purchase photo reprints »

  • The public enjoys refreshments in the Community Room of the new Northampton Police Department Headquarters during a grand opening and public reception Saturday.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING

    The public enjoys refreshments in the Community Room of the new Northampton Police Department Headquarters during a grand opening and public reception Saturday.
    KEVIN GUTTING Purchase photo reprints »

  • The Northampton Police Department held a grand opening and public reception on Saturday for its new headquarters on Center Street.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING

    The Northampton Police Department held a grand opening and public reception on Saturday for its new headquarters on Center Street.
    KEVIN GUTTING Purchase photo reprints »

  • This artist's rendering of the completed Northampton Police Department Headquarters was on view during the grand opening and public reception on Saturday.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING

    This artist's rendering of the completed Northampton Police Department Headquarters was on view during the grand opening and public reception on Saturday.
    KEVIN GUTTING Purchase photo reprints »

  • Northampton Police Chief Russell Sienkiewicz welcomes the public to the grand opening and reception for the new Northampton Police Headquarters on Saturday.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING

    Northampton Police Chief Russell Sienkiewicz welcomes the public to the grand opening and reception for the new Northampton Police Headquarters on Saturday.
    KEVIN GUTTING Purchase photo reprints »

  • Northampton Police Officer Craig Kirouac, right, offers a tour of the booking room in the new police headquarters during a grand opening and public reception on Saturday.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING

    Northampton Police Officer Craig Kirouac, right, offers a tour of the booking room in the new police headquarters during a grand opening and public reception on Saturday.
    KEVIN GUTTING Purchase photo reprints »

  • Nevan Costigan, 6, of Hadley sits in the office chair of Northampton Police Det. Lt. Kenneth Watson, center, while attending an open house at the new Northampton Police Department Headquarters with his mother, Debbie White, on Saturday.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING

    Nevan Costigan, 6, of Hadley sits in the office chair of Northampton Police Det. Lt. Kenneth Watson, center, while attending an open house at the new Northampton Police Department Headquarters with his mother, Debbie White, on Saturday.
    KEVIN GUTTING Purchase photo reprints »

  • Northampton Ward 1 City Councilor Maureen Carney is reflected in a mirror as she tours the locker rooms of the new police department headquarters during the grand opening and public reception on Saturday.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING

    Northampton Ward 1 City Councilor Maureen Carney is reflected in a mirror as she tours the locker rooms of the new police department headquarters during the grand opening and public reception on Saturday.
    KEVIN GUTTING Purchase photo reprints »

  • Last week's mystery photo showed the top of the parking garage next to Northampton's new police station.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING

    Last week's mystery photo showed the top of the parking garage next to Northampton's new police station.
    KEVIN GUTTING Purchase photo reprints »

  • Northampton Police Capt. Joseph Koncas, right, talks with visitors, from left, Gordon Noseworthy of Northampton, Peter Trecartin of Williamsburg, and Lois Siegel of Northampton about this desk that came from Calvin Coolidge's law office. The desk, which belonged to Coolidge's law partner, is now part of the furnishings in Koncas' office in the new Northampton Police Department Headquarters.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING

    Northampton Police Capt. Joseph Koncas, right, talks with visitors, from left, Gordon Noseworthy of Northampton, Peter Trecartin of Williamsburg, and Lois Siegel of Northampton about this desk that came from Calvin Coolidge's law office. The desk, which belonged to Coolidge's law partner, is now part of the furnishings in Koncas' office in the new Northampton Police Department Headquarters.
    KEVIN GUTTING Purchase photo reprints »

  • The new parking garage is seen through a second floor window of the new Northampton Police Department Headquarters on Center Street. The garage was built on the site of the former police station. At left is the Hampshire County Courthouse which is located on Gothic Street.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING

    The new parking garage is seen through a second floor window of the new Northampton Police Department Headquarters on Center Street. The garage was built on the site of the former police station. At left is the Hampshire County Courthouse which is located on Gothic Street.
    KEVIN GUTTING Purchase photo reprints »

  • Northampton Police Chief Russell Sienkiewicz welcomes the public to the grand opening and reception for the new Northampton Police Headquarters on Saturday.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING

    Northampton Police Chief Russell Sienkiewicz welcomes the public to the grand opening and reception for the new Northampton Police Headquarters on Saturday.
    KEVIN GUTTING Purchase photo reprints »

  • "Look sad," asked Jennifer Gottlieb of Florence of her son, Ben, center, 8, and friend Sam Robbins, 5, of Williamsburg - and they obliged - for a photo opportunity in cell #2 at the new Northampton Police Department Headquarters on Saturday. The purely volunteer visit was part of the grand opening and public reception for the new facility on Center Street.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING

    "Look sad," asked Jennifer Gottlieb of Florence of her son, Ben, center, 8, and friend Sam Robbins, 5, of Williamsburg - and they obliged - for a photo opportunity in cell #2 at the new Northampton Police Department Headquarters on Saturday. The purely volunteer visit was part of the grand opening and public reception for the new facility on Center Street.
    KEVIN GUTTING Purchase photo reprints »

  • "Look sad," asked Jennifer Gottlieb of Florence of her son, Ben, center, 8, and friend Sam Robbins, 5, of Williamsburg - and they obliged - for a photo opportunity in cell #2 at the new Northampton Police Department Headquarters on Saturday. The purely volunteer visit was part of the grand opening and public reception for the new facility on Center Street.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • About 100 people stood on the deck of the new parking garage in a brisk freezing wind Saturday morning for the beginning of a grand opening and public reception for the new Northampton Police Department Headquarters on Center Street.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • About 100 people were on hand as Northampton Police Chief Russell Sienkiewicz, at podium in portico, extended a welcome to the grand opening reception Saturday for the new Northampton Police headquarters on Center Street.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • In a brief but emotional appearance, former Northampton Mayor Mary Clare Higgins, flanked by current mayor David Narkewicz, left, and Police Chief Russell Sienkiewicz, far right, offers thanks and congratulations to all those who made the new police headquarters a reality during a grand opening and public reception on Saturday.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • Northampton Police Lt. Jody Kasper answers questions from the public in the Ready Room of the new department headquarters on Center Street during a grand opening and reception on Saturday. The screen behind her is a live feed monitoring the on-duty force at the moment.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz, at podium, joins Police Chief Russell Sienkiewicz, left, in welcoming about 100 people to the grand opening and public reception on Saturday for the new police headquarters on Center Street. The crowd is standing on the top deck of the new parking garage located on the site of the former police station.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • The public enjoys refreshments in the Community Room of the new Northampton Police Department Headquarters during a grand opening and public reception Saturday.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • The Northampton Police Department held a grand opening and public reception on Saturday for its new headquarters on Center Street.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • This artist's rendering of the completed Northampton Police Department Headquarters was on view during the grand opening and public reception on Saturday.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • Northampton Police Chief Russell Sienkiewicz welcomes the public to the grand opening and reception for the new Northampton Police Headquarters on Saturday.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • Northampton Police Officer Craig Kirouac, right, offers a tour of the booking room in the new police headquarters during a grand opening and public reception on Saturday.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • Nevan Costigan, 6, of Hadley sits in the office chair of Northampton Police Det. Lt. Kenneth Watson, center, while attending an open house at the new Northampton Police Department Headquarters with his mother, Debbie White, on Saturday.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • Northampton Ward 1 City Councilor Maureen Carney is reflected in a mirror as she tours the locker rooms of the new police department headquarters during the grand opening and public reception on Saturday.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • Last week's mystery photo showed the top of the parking garage next to Northampton's new police station.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • Northampton Police Capt. Joseph Koncas, right, talks with visitors, from left, Gordon Noseworthy of Northampton, Peter Trecartin of Williamsburg, and Lois Siegel of Northampton about this desk that came from Calvin Coolidge's law office. The desk, which belonged to Coolidge's law partner, is now part of the furnishings in Koncas' office in the new Northampton Police Department Headquarters.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • The new parking garage is seen through a second floor window of the new Northampton Police Department Headquarters on Center Street. The garage was built on the site of the former police station. At left is the Hampshire County Courthouse which is located on Gothic Street.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • Northampton Police Chief Russell Sienkiewicz welcomes the public to the grand opening and reception for the new Northampton Police Headquarters on Saturday.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • "Look sad," asked Jennifer Gottlieb of Florence of her son, Ben, center, 8, and friend Sam Robbins, 5, of Williamsburg - and they obliged - for a photo opportunity in cell #2 at the new Northampton Police Department Headquarters on Saturday. The purely volunteer visit was part of the grand opening and public reception for the new facility on Center Street.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING

“This is a monumental accomplishment,” Police Chief Russell P. Sienkiewicz told the crowd as they stood in the new parking lot on the footprint of the former police station on Center Street.

The new 31,000-square-foot, energy-efficient, LEED-certified facility replaces a 9,000-square-foot station built in 1965.

“I would never have imagined that during difficult economic times, you would have voted to take money out of your pockets for this project, but you did,” Sienkiewicz said, referring to the $10 million debt exclusion override passed by voters in 2010.

Mayor David J. Narkewicz, former Northampton Mayor Mary Clare Higgins and Building Committee co-Chairman Robert Ostberg also spoke at the 11 a.m. ceremony.

“This building is really your building. You voted to make it happen,” Higgins said.

Narkewicz praised Higgins for her dedication to the project, which began when she was serving as a city councilor in 1994.

“This facility is here because of her leadership, vision and courage to bring this project forward,” Narkewicz said.

After brief remarks, the crowd filed into the pristine new building, touring the facility at leisure. A large buffet was set up in the first-floor community room with food provided by local restaurants including Spoleto, Packards, Fitzwilly’s and La Veracruzana.

Susan Maguire, a probation officer in Franklin and Hampshire County Juvenile Court, greeted guests as they arrived. Maguire said she was pleased with the turnout.

“It is nice to see so many people here,” McGuire said. “It was also a real honor and privilege to serve on the building committee. I enjoyed working with the chief, the police department and my fellow committee members.”

Several members of the police department were stationed in various parts of building, talking to visitors and providing information about the facility.

On the first floor of the station, people toured the dispatch center, a sizable records room, two sergeants’ offices and a ready room for daily briefings.

“This is great,” said Joseph Misterka, former assistant superintendent for the Northampton schools. “I especially like the size of the space and the high quality of the work.”

The light-filled second floor boasts a detective bureau, archives room, a second community room with multiple data ports, an Internet technology room, staff lounge and an “Executive Suite,” which houses the office of the police chief, two captains and administration offices and meeting rooms.

“Our office in the other building used to be a crowded little room that was dark and dingy, and it was difficult to interview people properly, especially if you had a case with multiple witnesses,” Detective Michael Briggs said. “Now we have the room to perform a proper professional investigation.”

Sitting behind a bank of monitors in an I.T. room, Officer David Tripp demonstrated the use of the high-tech security cameras both within and around the building.

“It all seems very state-of-the-art,” Linda Langlais of Florence said. “In this day and age we need every bit of technological help we can get.”

An armory, 25-yard shooting range, crime scene and forensic department, evidence room, gym and locker rooms are all located in the lower level of the building.

Ron Rickey, project manager with the Springfield firm Arcadis, described the basement area. “It is like a fortified bunker with cameras — a real fortress inside a building,” Rickey said.

A popular area with visitors was the new booking and detention area, complete with two holding areas, nine stark cinderblock cells, interview rooms and a sally port — a garage connected to the detention area where police vehicles can enter with prisoners.

“This is state-of-the-art,” Sgt. Craig Kirouac said. “Before, we would drive into the open parking lot, walk across the lot and into the station through a side door. This is much safer and far more secure.”

Rickey said the project had gone smoothly and that neighboring businesses were supportive of the project.

“We had a lot of work-space constraints, and at the same time we had to keep the city functioning with minimal disruptions,” Rickey said. “All neighbors were fantastic. It took a real community effort to be able to coordinate everything.”

According to Rickey, the $4.5 million attached parking garage, which will hold 150 vehicles, will be finished in roughly two weeks.

“I was very impressed with how many people came today,” said local author Leslea Newman. “All of the officers were very friendly and they showed off the new station with great pride.” The 65-member department had moved out of the old station and into the new facility in July.

“It was a great day when we moved in,” Sienkiewicz said. “Today is the icing on the cake.”

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