It’s encouraging to see that work has begun on Wallingford’s new police station. There’s been at least one significant distraction to getting to this point, and the move can be viewed as a piece of a larger puzzle, but it’s also worth focusing on a simple aspect, which is that the town needs a new police headquarters and is on its way to getting one.
Town Council Chairman Vincent Cervoni, now seen as the likely Republican candidate to replace Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr., who is not seeking re-election, told the Record-Journal recently demolition had started at the former 3M office building at 100 Barnes Road. "They're effectively going to the studs on the inside and they're going to take down as many walls as they can because it's going to be walled out differently," he said.
The distraction ensued from a comment by an architect that recommended a report that mentioned PCBs “disappear” that appeared in the minutes of an October 2022 meeting. Discussion of the issue was still going on in January when the Town Council approved adding funds to renovate the building, bringing the total to $34,848,000.
The puzzle aspect of the move involves the current police home on North Main Street, which the department has outgrown. Police chiefs have asked for a new headquarters since at least 2009, according to R-J reports.
While the former armory building, converted into a police station in 1986, may no longer suit the needs of police, it could be the spot for school district offices or as a new home for Adult Education. If Adult Education moves it would create opportunity at its current home, the former train station downtown.
How the pieces of this puzzle may fit remains to be seen, but it also might not take long to see how it works out, since the new police station building is expected to be complete by July next year. For now, having that project underway is a positive step for Wallingford.