A request for more building space by Brainerd Police Chief Frank Ball and Brainerd Fire Chief Kevin Mahle has triggered an extensive space needs analysis in the city of Brainerd.
Ball and Mahle asked the Brainerd Personnel and Finance Committee of the city council to consider their needs for additional space.
The police department currently shares space with the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Department in the Law Enforcement Center.
Ball said he believes the city is simply a renter of space at the Law Enforcement Center and that the city's needs have not been adequately addressed. He said he feels beholden to the county and was critical of the sheriff's departments communications systems, noting that Enhanced 911 is still not operational in the county.
Noting how the sheriff's and police agencies have grown since 1978, when the LEC was designed, Ball said the building simply cannot handle his department's needs for office space, for training, or for garage, evidence, data or equipment storage.
Mahle shared similar space concerns. He said a public safety building would be appealing to him to allow police and fire to work more closely together, which is similar to his previous situation in Woodbury.
The city council unanimously decided to recall its space needs committee and to update an earlier space needs analysis for city departments.
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