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Police open house set

S.L. officers will show off crumbling facilities to public

The Salt Lake City Police Department has been saying for a while that it needs a new police station. Now, the department is offering the public the chance to see the crumbling facilities for themselves.

"Let them see first hand what we're working in," said Salt Lake City police Lt. Melody Gray. "We're not overexaggerating our need here."

Voters will decide Nov. 6 whether to pass Proposition 1. If approved, the Salt Lake City Police and Fire Departments will receive a $192 million bond for five public-safety structures at three locations, with the majority of the funds going into a new public-safety complex where the current police station sits on 200 South and 300 East.

The bond has been scrutinized by the Salt Lake Chamber's board of governors and some members of the Salt Lake County Council, who say police are asking for too much.

In an effort to convince voters a new complex is needed, Chief Chris Burbank came up with the idea of holding a Proposition 1 Open House/Trick or Treat from 2 to 5 p.m. Friday. Lt. Melody Gray said residents will see it all, from the evidence room that has plastic sheets covering boxes of evidence to protect them from a leaky roof, to the dispatch room that lost power for two hours over the weekend because of more leaks in the roof, to the parking structure, which is half-closed because of unsafe conditions.

"We thought, 'The public doesn't come to us, we go to them. Sometimes they don't understand our needs and what we're working in,"' Gray said.

In addition to the open house, there will be trick-or-treating available for children as well as SWAT, police K9 and motor squad demonstrations in the parking lot.