Police Stations


Police sfalione represent one of the necessary governmental functions requiring careful planning. One of the most serious administrative problems confronting most police forces is lack of adequate or proper space and facilities for a police headquarter a and jail.

There ore two main objectives to be considered in the construction of the police department building: first, the handling and processing of the prisoners; second, the service to the public- The arrangement should bo such that prisoners may be handled within the police department itself, without allowing thoaa prisoner* to be in contact with the public generally.

Plans Developed for this Section

The plans shown represent the results of the field survey and study by the police chiefs' advisory committee and subcommittees. Particular attention was given to room sizes and the arrangement in the plan of these various spaces in relation to one another, so as to ensure safe flow of traffic within the building by the public and security control of the prisoners by the police force without unnecessary duplication of staff.

The ideas reflected are based on peat experiences with similar police stations now in use, and ihe explanation which follows each plan directs attention to soma of the important elements suggested for inclusion in new structures.


Police stations should be planned ae if they are to be In a separate location from other structures. If analysis of site locations for a police station permits other structures housing other city functions (euch as city hall or fire station) to bo erected on the same site without interfering with the proper discharge of functions. then one central site can be chosen.

The jail section of a building should be above the ground and set back tar enough from the property tine to prevent contact between prisoners and persons outside of the building Jail quarters should be accessible to a loading space at, or within, the building for the transportation of prisoners. It should be located where the vehicular traffic ia not too heavy.

Off-street parking, space for expansion, light and air on all sides, and separata entrances must be provided whenever possible-

Small Cities and Towns

It has been found in small, compactly built cities and towns that one location will serve all city departments under one roof. When the city or town area extends only a few blocks in any direction, access to arterial streets

PoIicb Stations, Planning and Specifications, Bureau of Governmental Research and Services, University of Washington, Seattle Wash . 1954

ie readily possible. Such a central site, however, should be so laid out that it gives an opportunity for the public to enter the administration rooms from one streat, the fire department from another side street, and the police department from a third aide or from the rear.

In all these cases, the location in relationship to the various land uses, the «treat pattern, and sice of tha site itself makes it possible that this central site can have all the governmental units in one location and »lilt meet all the sits requirements of the individual function« separately


A building with the least number of floors is more economical to supervise because loss personnel is required to supervise it. While a building of several floors may cost less in construction and be a saving In site costs, the extra outlay for administrative personnel, year after year, will never cease, in time it may be far greater than the additional cost of the desirable horizontal plan.

6. Construction Building Code

The building should bo fire resistant, properly lighted, heated, and ventilated- The plons shoutd be arranged to prevent smoke and hot gases, from cooking or heating units, from passing through tha building at any (ima,

Fire safety devices such as standpipos, fire hose, extinguishers, and alarms should be amply provided,

If the building ia of two stories or more, two or mora enclosed stairways should be provided according to building regulations tor fire hazards.

C. Facilities

1, Windows Windows adjacent to jail quarters should have steel bars or steal delenlion sash with screening devices and be inaccaasibla to prisoners. Ail parts of detention quarters should be separated from exterior walls by a mash partition, parallel to outsida walls and 3 ft inside them, to prevent passing of contraband, exhibitionism, and to give passage for supervising personnel

2. Storage A safe storage place should be provided for cash and valuable articles.

3, Firearms Firearms, weapons, and medicines should be storod in strong, securely locked cabinets inaccessible to prisoners; i,e they should be kept in locations removed from jail quarters and corridors-

4. Ftrsfighbng Apparatus All fire hoxords should be guarded against. Avoid exposed electrical installations, wood partitions, straw ticks,, paper, rags, and other combustible materials-Fire hose in locked cabinets should be easily accessible for inspection, for jail personnel to have for drilling, and for use in event of fire or emergency,

5. Telephone, Red» The telephone and radio service should include equipment for fire calls and auxiliary fire alarm as well as provision for right-of-way calls, conference calls, watch Galls from stations of duty, and supervisory calls.

6. Detective Division The location of a detective division will depend upon the workload involved and tho number of detectives employed. There should be » main detective office large enough to permit all detectives to got together for briefing and instructions. In addition, there should be small rooms locatad adjacent to the main detective office, which can be used tor interrogation purposes. Those need not be elaborate and require only a desk end two or three chairs,

7. Show up Room In caso n show-up room is desired, it should be located in such a manner as to permit the shuttling back and forth of prisoners from the confinement quarters to the show-up room without coming into contact with tha public.

8. Visitors' Room A visiting room should be provided so as to promote informal interviews under adequate supervision, Thie visitors' room can serve for visitors for Ihe prisonors or an a conference room between an attorney and a prisoner. It should bo so located that the prisoners' entrance ia on the jail side and tho visitors' and attorneys' entrance is from tha public side. A separation between prisoners and visitors inside tho room should be provided by at least a fine meshed double screening or heavy plate glass windows, Another type of separation is the use of a table at least 3 ft wide with a partition extending to tho floor and tho partition above tha tabla running to the ceiling so that it ia impossible to pass oven tha smallest item of contraband.

9. Interview Room A soparoto interviewing room should be provided for the use of attorneys, probation officers, and social welfare workers,

10. Eiamilting Room This same room, if properly located, can also servo as an examination room for the medical officer- For medical facil* ities, a locked steel cabinet for the medical equipment can be placed on the wall in one of tha examination rooms,

11. Kitchen When the jail averages mora than \ 5 prisoners a day, a properly equipped kitchen has been found advisable. Thoro should be a refrigerator room and locked storage closet, Tha kitchen shoutd be equipped with a atovo for top and oven cooking. If it is a two-etory building, one kitchen only on the first floor is recommended and dumbwaiters may bo usedt with n pantry on the second floor. In cases where the food is brought from the outside and not cookad on tha premises, the kitchen or

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  • Eerik
    What rooms are in a police station?
    1 year ago
    Why visitor room is required at police station?
    10 months ago
  • togo
    What are the FEMA requirements for a small town police station?
    9 months ago
  • Martti
    What to cosider when designing a police station?
    1 month ago

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