Chief asks board for additional evidence storage space

By Tracy Ouellette

SLN Staff

Village of East Troy Police Chief Alan Boyes asked the Village Board Monday night to approve converting the Emergency Operations Center at Village Hall into additional storage for evidence the department has to store.

Boyes told the board the existing evidence room was full and an expansion was needed to maintain the security of evidence and meet all legal requirements on how long evidence has to be stored.

“It’s filling up so fast, we’re running out of room,” Boyes said Monday night. “I’m asking for the EOC to be turned over to the Police Department. It will take about $2,000 to make the room usable for us and the work can be completed by the Public Works Department as one of their ‘rainy day’ projects.”

Boyes said the money for the renovations would come out of the building’s budget for this year, which DPW Director Mike Miller said there was funds for.

Trustee Dusty Stanford said he wasn’t in favor of using the EOC since it was a “nice room” and already finished. He suggested using two offices across the hall for additional evidence storage space.

Boyes said he had considered that option, but the cost of converting those spaces to the double-security required for evidence space would be much higher than the $2,000 needed to convert the EOC and it wouldn’t be his first choice.

Stanford said he understood, but still wasn’t in favor of losing the EOC. He told the chief he was all in favor of giving the Police Department the room it needed, but didn’t want to lose something he considered valuable to the village.

Village Board President Randy Timms agreed with Stanford saying he really didn’t want to lose the EOC, but if after investigation it was found to be the best option for the PD, he would support it.

Timms said he wanted to form an ad hoc committee to study the options and return to the board with a recommendations.

Trustee Scott Seager said he didn’t see the logic keeping a “pretty room” that wasn’t being used just because it looked nice.

“If we’re not using it, what’s the point of having it,” Seager asked.

He went on to point out that the board room they were meeting him was fully suited to serve as a command center, even better than the smaller EOC.

“It’s not about how pretty it is,” Timms replied. “It’s the location in the building and what it offers. If there were an emergency, it’s an inner room with no windows that offers protection. It’s also equipped to handle a legitimate emergency government operation.”

Boyes said, in his opinion, the EOC wasn’t really big enough for those purposes and agreed with Seager that the board room might serve better in an emergency situation.

Timms said the board room was designated as a possible triage site in the case of an emergency and because of the close proximity to windows and doors, wasn’t optimal.

“I’m not disagreeing that the Police Department needs more space, I think they do,” Timms said. “But I think we need to look at all the options.”

The board tabled the decision and formed an ad hoc committee led by Seager with Trustee Forty Renucci and Boyes to study the issue and come back to the board with a recommendation.

 

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