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Stark County Sheriff’s Office moved into their remodeled space

The Stark County Sheriff's Office may be moved into their remodeled space at the Law Enforcement Center, but Sheriff Terry Oestreich said that doesn't necessarily mean they are settled in.

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The Stark County Sheriff's Office has an updated evidence room with an evidence dryer, which helps preserve evidence while allowing the department to maintain chain of custody. Deputies can bring evidence into the room, take a photo of it with their overhead camera, package it with a barcode and then store it in temporary storage before an evidence custodian moves it to permanent storage whenever necessary. (Sydney Mook / The Dickinson Press)

The Stark County Sheriff’s Office may be moved into their remodeled space at the Law Enforcement Center, but Sheriff Terry Oestreich said that doesn’t necessarily mean they are settled in.

The remodel project took about a year to complete and cost slightly more than $980,000, which was below the department's budget for the remodel, Oestreich said. They are currently putting the final touches on the project. Oestreich said overall he just wants the building to look professional to the public.

The department is excited to be in their own, larger space, he said.

The sheriff’s office previously shared the space with the Dickinson Police Department until September of 2015, when the police department moved across town to the Public Safety Center.

“It’s nice to have the room, but I miss having the closeness with two departments in the same building,” he said. “It was so much easier to work together. We share the same computer program, so we can read each other’s reports, but it’s not the same as the person-to-person contact -- that I really miss. The room (though), we absolutely needed more room.”

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The remodel project was done with three main contractors, including Zeller Construction as the main bidder, Central Mechanical completed the airwork and plumbing part of the project and Jesse Braun Electric completed the electric work. JLG was the main architecture firm on the remodel. The project was supposed to be completed in September 2016, however, the project ran into a few plumbing problems, which set them back slightly.

Oestreich said one unique, but subtle, feature of the remodel is the walls, which are designed to be scratch resistant. He said they can sometimes have people who are a bit unruly at times and can cause scratching and other damage to walls. However, the walls in the building are designed to withstand circumstances like that.

The carpet, which is mostly near entrances, is designed to clean boots, so dirt and mud is not tracked through the building, Oestreich said.

The building previously had air quality issues that had to be mediated. Oestreich said the air quality problems were the “driving force” behind the remodel because of the health concerns.

“I personally can notice a big difference in the air quality,” he said.

Major Fern Moser said everyone in the office seems to like the new layout of the building.

“I speak for our crew here, I think everybody has a little sense of pride because it is new to us,” he said. “Even though we didn’t move too far -- across two hallways basically. We’re not as crowded per se.”

The department also has an updated evidence room with an evidence dryer, which helps preserve evidence while allowing the department to maintain chain of custody. Deputies can bring evidence into the room, take a photo of it with their overhead camera, package it with a barcode and then store it in temporary storage before an evidence custodian moves it to permanent storage whenever necessary. The evidence room also has an upgraded “super-glue chamber,” which processes fingerprints.

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“We’re able to much more efficiently process our evidence,” Oestreich said.

The breakroom can also function as a planning room, with many tables and chairs available for people to sit, along with access to information via a television screen and a markerboard to help plan out various responses to an event.

Along with the upgrades in infrastructure, the department has also updated some of their technology in hopes of making the lives easier of all involved in the department. Oestreich said they have updated their camera systems in the interview rooms and other areas of the building. Nearly every room has at least one flat screen television that allows officers to catch up on what happened the night before and in some instances view cameras at the Stark County Courthouse to monitor any type of situation that may arise there.

“It’s nice to know what’s going on and keeping things updated,” Moser said. “... It’s going to be used for things like observations, it’ll be used for communication between the night shift and the day shift. … It’s technology, and we are a world of technology, so that was the other thing we were trying to get ahold of.”

Moser thanked the county commissioners for their willingness to work with them on the project, especially knowing the courthouse was also getting an upgrade. He said everyone in the office seems proud of their new space.

“I know I’ve heard the patrol guys say ‘Let’s keep it up. Let’s keep it nice. Let’s take care of it,’” he said. “… Everybody’s happy, I know the sheriff is extremely happy with how everything turned out.”

Related Topics: DICKINSON POLICE DEPARTMENT
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