Says Single-Room Station Gives No Privacy.
NORWOOD, Dec 11-7-Chief of Police James W. Lavers of Norwood wants new quarters for the police department of the town and believes the building of a new station is practicable.
He has practically secured an indorsement from the Norwood Business association for new quarters, the association voting at the last meeting to refer the matter to the committee on town affairs, with instructions to consult with the finance committee of the town as to its advisability and report back at the next meeting.
Several men spoke in its favor, and the only note of opposition came from James M. Folan, a merchant, who claimed that as Norwood would have a new town hall within a few years, where the police department would be lodged, it would be unnecessary to build a station now. However, he favored new quarters.
As the population of the town has increased over 46 percent in the last 10 years and the growth of the police force to more than 300 percent, Chief Lavers believes that the department should have better accommodations than those which were practically the same as 10 years ago. At present the quarters are rather difficult to find, being housed in a large room back of a store, approached by a narrow entrance between two blocks. There is only one room, and the chief and his visitor’s have no privacy,. The desk of the chief is at one side and the rest of the room is used as a guard room by the patrolmen when off duty.
The chief likewise states that in trying to get the story of a case from several witnesses, it is impracticable to separate them, to see if their stories may agree when told apart.
The lockup is some distance away from the headquarters and is somewhat obsolete, having been built in 1879, though new steel cells were put in in 1903.
The chief claims that the amount of business transacted and the size of the town entitles it to better quarters. In the first 10 months of 1910 there were 1481 complaints handled, of which 360 had been taken to court. The town is paying $600 a year for rent besides other expenses, it is pointed out, and if a suitable station were built it would pay for itself before many years in the difference between the interest on the money it cost and the rent.
The force now consists of Chief Lavers, who assumed the duties in the summer of 1909, and three patrolmen. Another patrolman died not long ago, and there will probably be an appointment to fill his place soon.