BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — McFarland City is looking to move or get rid of its library and have the police department take over the current building.
While the allies of the library spoke out against this, there’s actually a tremendous need for city’s police department to get a bigger building.
The McFarland Police Department needs a new building. This comes as the city looks into plans to move the department into the McFarland Library. The biggest reason for this upgrade.. is this building is just too small.
The McFarland Police Department has 24 positions including sworn officers and support staff. Of those, 21 are filled.
“It’s all basically in one room and that’s not the way of a police department,” Kenneth Williams McFarland police chief said. “It’s a terrible way to run a police department because the size of what we have is all we got.”
The halls are cramped. The locker room stuffed and used as storage. File boxes stacked along the narrow hallway. The building only has one bathroom for everyone.
The workspace is limited. Multiple sergeants all share a single office. While the other officers have to share their computers which can make workflow difficult. The department doesn’t even have a holding cell. Meaning, in this same space, people arrested sit cuffed to a chair while everyone works around them. Confidential documents visible.
The lack of space also seen with the department’s property rooms.
“We unfortunately have three different locations for our property room and that’s absurd,” Williams said. “None of them have proper ventilation system so it’s problematic there’s no doubt.”
McFarland Police Chief Williams says it doesn’t need to be the library the department moves to. The department just needs a bigger facility.