COCOA BEACH, Fla. — After decades of debate, Cocoa Beach could take the first step Thursday in building a new police headquarters.
- Cocoa Beach considers a new police headquarters
- Current building in need of repairs, safety improvements
- $8.5 million project to cost taxpayers
Police Chief Scott Rosenfeld said it's time to leave the current police station building.
“This has been repair over repair, addition after addition — I mean the building is from the 60s,” Rosenfeld said.
Hurricane Irma didn't help. The 2017 storm ripped off the station's roof.
Insurance money helped pay for more than a million dollars in damage to the city's dual police station-city hall.
“A bandaid won't cut it,” he said.
However, concerns over money have kept a new police headquarters on the back-burner.
Rosenfeld said the current station has even caused safety issues.
“We have no security, we've had escaped prisoners from when we escort the prisoner from the back of the police car, we've had people take off running, and we've had to get in foot chases in the parking lot,” the chief said. “Now if you have a new modern facility, you have a sally port, it opens when you pull in, it closes behind you. So you can safely escort your prisoner into the holding area.”
The city commission is now considering a proposed 8.5 million dollar police headquarters to be located across the street from the current police station and next to the new city parking garage.
“The new building will have much better security as it relates to the way people can move throughout the building,” City Manager Jim McKnight said.
McKnight said they've reduced the size of the project to bring down the cost to taxpayers.
The city commission meets at 7 p.m. Thursday at City Hall to consider authorizing city staff to develop a Request for Proposal to finance the project, among other items.
If everything goes as planned, construction could begin by early next year.