Post Classifieds

New look for campus police building

By Daniel Braswell
On January 29, 2013

After receiving a $655,347 facelift, the Old Maintenance Building -- the Winston-Salem State campus police building -- reopened  in December. The building had been unoccupied about a year.
Old Maintenance has been the workplace for the campus police since 1988.
Director and Chief of Police Patricia D. Norris said the building had been upgraded to meet the requirement for accreditation with the Commission Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc.
CALEA's accreditation programs purpose is to improve the delivery of public safety services by maintaining a body of standards, establishing and administering an accreditation process, and recognizing professional excellence.
Before the renovation of the building, Norris said Old Maintenance did not meet the CALEA standards.
She said campus police are hoping to become accredited by the fall semester.
Before it was renovated, the building  had issues that included asbestos and HVAC problems.
Norris recalled the difficulties she had with the room temperature of her previous office.
"We were calling someone in Facilities [the department] every month to come over, especially with the changing of the seasons," she said.
"I would freeze in my office in the winter and burn up in the summer."
Norris said their building's temperature is now more effective and overall efficient.
"The heat and the air only go to a certain level because we want to make sure we stay within a range of being energy efficient," she said.
Henry Gray, interim lieutenant of crime prevention and investigation, said he is thrilled with the security upgrades.   
To enter certain doors in the new facility a person needs either a card or a key. The main entrance is locked daily at 5:30 p.m.
A person only enters the building after that time by being granted access via telephone by the communications department of campus police.
"We could go out on a call in the old building and if you didn't shut the door back any and everybody could just come in here," Gray said.
Ginger Grannaman, university program specialist in the police and public safety department, said their building feels more safeguarded.
"It's more secure, and everybody seems to like it," Grannaman said.
There is also more workspace for employees, two interview rooms and a new evidence room with a refrigerator to store DNA evidence.
As they are still getting settled in their new facility, Gray said he has already seen morale improve with his co-workers.
"When you are in a professional place, you feel good about where you are, and it reflects in the officers themselves," Gray said.
"You feel more pride in where you work and in your performance it shows."
Norris said she could not be more pleased with the outcome of the renovation.
"I'm ecstatic," Norris said.
"It's so rewarding to come to work in a really nice facility and I am much appreciative that the University saw fit to refurbish this location."
Blueprints for the renovation were drawn before Norris came to the University in 2008.  
The renovations started November 2011 and concluded toward the end of fall semester.
While their building was being renovated, Campus Police Administration personnel relocated to 1604 A Lowery St. about a block away from the campus.

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