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Sibley 220X165A divided City Council approved a lease for a police substation inside the Sibley Building. The 10-year lease will cost nearly $1 million. The city will also spend about $200,000 furnishing the space. Forty officers – not a small number – will staff the station.

Less than 10 years ago, downtown had a police station. It was shuttered when the department, led by former Police Chief Bob Duffy, reorganized into east and west sections. I don’t know what the department was paying for its old substation lease, but I’m guessing the one in the Sibley Building is more money. Certainly acquiring the furniture is an added cost.

The Sibley substation is a recognition downtown has its own policing needs. It’s a unique mix of visitors, commuters, transit riders, entertainment, residents, businesses and government. Even though downtown is among the safest places in the city, it’s important for people to feel safe, as it’s the center of the city. It’s the symbol of Rochester.

The Sibley substation is also the beginning of the recognition the two-section policing model hasn’t worked out. The chief has said he wants to move toward a quadrant system, with a downtown section in the middle. It won’t be cheap, as the Sibley lease shows.

Links of the Day:

– Avon is now the third New York State town to have its fracking ban upheld in court.

– A retired Pittsford teacher urges parents to opt out of state tests.

– A man jailed 22 years in a New York City rabbi’s killing is about to be freed. His conviction was the result  of liars and shoddy police work.

– Does phasing in the minimum wage really help workers? The Albany Times Union writes, “A deal among state leaders would force workers to wait until 2016 for a wage that isn’t particularly adequate in 2013.”

– With no assault weapons ban on the horizon, what does the president say to Newtown families now?

13 Responses to Costly Redo

  1. What will this substation house? What will it add to the cops on the street? What purpose will it serve? Why does it cost $200k to furnish the place? If this is just a reshuffling of officers and staff, shouldn’t we just be able to move those desks, computers, etc to the new substation. For a city that is “broke” we sure do throw money around. Not to mention that while the police intend to move to a “quadrant” system, the fire department was moved to an East/West system and now with threats of firehouse closures.

  2. I am having difficulty understanding the benefit this police station will have for downtown. Certainly, police on the street is a positive. Police in offices out of sight offers no benefit. The cost to rent space downtown coupled with adequate parking for police vehicles, police officers private vehicles, and parking for people who need to do business with the police is going to be difficult to find and expensive. Without knowing any details, it just looks like another push by Mayor Richards to get rent money to the Sibley building. Since this rent money is tax payer money, we are effectively subsidizing the Sibley building . I thought the idea was for private funds to revitalize downtown properties. Just my thoughts.

  3. Wow Rachel, this article “With no assault weapons ban on the horizon, what does the president say to Newtown families now?” is so blatantly biased and slanted how can you even include it and call yourself a “fair” or “balanced” reporter? This is so far into left field it’d be a foul.

    • March 20, 2013 at 11:18 am Rachel Barnhart responds:

      It is a clearly labeled opinion piece from the New York Daily News. I thought it was an interesting viewpoint. And of course the articles I select reflect my interests.

  4. Note to Bill. This is Rachel’s blog, where she expresses her opinion. She often links to opinion pieces, which no one claims are “reporting”. Are you saying reporters can’t have opinions?

  5. March 20, 2013 at 10:20 am Bill K. responds:

    It certainly does reflect a point of view. The point of view being expressed in the article being linked to. The fact that Rachel’s selection of articles she found interesting, informative or important and her summary of same in her personal blog will reflect her opinions doesn’t mean that her reporting is not accurate. Contrary to what you’ve been told by some media “fair” and “balanced” does not mean journalism that is slanted towards your personal beliefs and biases.

  6. March 20, 2013 at 10:33 am Eduardo Ricardo responds:

    A million dollars over 10 years? Or a million dollars a year?

    I doubt the former.

  7. Bill K, how about no slant and just a reporting of the facts? I long for the news to be objective and not subjective. And I know what you are insinuating, fox news is not objective.

    • March 20, 2013 at 6:46 pm Bill K. responds:

      Objective reporting is something to strive for, but this isn’t a reported piece. It’s a collection of links to various stories Rachel found interesting and important. Which includes opinion pieces. This isn’t Rachel distorting facts to fit an agenda in a report it’s her summary of a column that’s getting a lot of attention. I expect Rachel’s news stories to be balanced and accurate. I expect her columns and her “Links of the Day” recommendations to reflect her views and opinions. There is a big difference between the two in what is appropriate.

  8. Funny, when the giant, fancy, new firehouse on Hudson Ave opened the members were told “you want to furnish it, buy furniture.” There had even been money budgeted for furnishings, but as mayor Tom now says (picking up where Budget Bill left off) “The money for xyz that the police or fire need, that’s equal to a rec center”. Exactly what old Budget Bill used to say before he helped himself to a 5 figure raise when he moved to the School District.
    And 40 officers is a drop in the bucket. 40 guys, divided by however many shift wheels they will work out of the station (will it be 24/7 or Mon/Fri like the old one?). Minus those off on vacation. Minus those out sick or injured. Minus Sgt.’s and up who supervise and don’t patrol. So you;’e looking at 5-7 guys working at one time regularly. On a good day.
    And I’m sure that just like when there were 7 Sections there will be no manned desk for a person to go inside and up to for help. I’ve never seen a place anywhere else in America where there are literally no police stations (outside of the PSB reception area) to walk into and for help. Even the old Sections were locked up and unavailable to the public without being buzzed in (if someone happened to be there and was willing to answer the buzzer). We had more walk up people at the firehouses asking for police assistance than we got walking up and asking for fire related help. Even the NET offices sent people to us for PD related questions and they supposedly had multiple cops assigned to them.
    Money, meet drain.

  9. March 20, 2013 at 12:41 pm theodore e kumlander responds:

    funny The City of Rochester to give the grifters for water front devlopment in charlotte but not a penny for the police.

    Downtown is a dangerous place a police station there would make a big difference, but the City would rather hand it money off to smooth talking hustlers.

  10. March 20, 2013 at 8:04 pm Orielly responds:

    First I thought the city had no money …again.

    Second they already have a police station downtown..less than 2 miles and 3 minutes away, its called police headquarters.

    This is clearly subsiding the development for the sake of Winn. And where are all the people who constantly say the actual DT area of Rochester is safe, great for development? IF so, why do we need a POLICE STATION no less in that area?

    Think this wasn’t part of the WINN deal we weren’t told about? Let Wilmot off the hook on the taxes, sell to WINN and give them 1M AND a Police station. Because the POLICE station total cost is way more then the rent.

    Yea the DEMS have been great for Downtown. LOVE watching Midtown tower rust away. Doesn’t that look nice?

    And Maggies REN center? It would have been built yrs ago now and been running with a DT Home for MCC and the RBTL. But Hey did you know Bob Duffy is the Leut. Governor?

  11. March 21, 2013 at 7:07 am Animule responds:

    Richards is acting like a guy that made a ton of promises to a developer, but failed to disclose exactly what those promises were.

    That’s the only logical explanation for his obsession with the Sibley building. What did Tom Richards promise Winn and Wilmot?

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