SELMA, Calif. (KFSN) --Selma Police received a $4-million grant to build a new police station. It's long overdue according to the police chief who said it is barely a roof over officer's head. The current Selma Police Station was meant to be a temporary home back in the 60's-- it used to be a train depot. City leaders are hoping to have the new, a state of the art one, within two years.
Twenty-six trains pass through the town each day just 30 feet away from chief Greg Garner's office. It's not only the constant shaking that's bothersome-- it's also disruptive.
"Often times if I'm on the phone with someone, I have to put them on hold until the train passes by so we can continue the conversation."
According to city leaders, the conversation was started at the state capitol by Assemblymember Doctor Joaquin Arambula He was able to secure $10-million combined for Selma, Huron, Firebaugh, and Mendota.
"For a decade, I practiced emergency medicine just down the road. And I would pass this City Hall each and every day. And I worked side by side with many of these officers that are standing behind me."
At the current police, station records are stored outside. There's one bathroom for women, and one for men and with 45 workers, sometimes that can create a line. The detectives work out of portables complete with homemade window coverings and wood panel siding. Garner said it also has other major flaws.
"My biggest concern is officers don't have the adequate space to do their job. If we want to interview, say, a victim of a sexual assault or child abuse, they are in a location that isn't very private."
Drawings of the 20,000 square foot, two story building, show a stunning architectural facade. The renditions include a training room, evidence storage, dispatch center, and booking and holding cells.
A bond measure to fund an add an additional $4-million to complete the project will be taken to voters in November.
"This is a beautiful, beautiful rendition of what we are looking forward to build, not only for the police department but primarily citizens of Selma," said Dr. Stanley Louie, Selma resident.
The new police station has been designed to accommodate the growing needs of the community for the next 50 years.