Thursday, March 28, 2013

As snow melts, hard work of Building Operations staff comes to forefront

The last of the snow from the city’s latest storm is melting today, and it reminds me to point out the hard work of those who were behind the scenes ensuring the work of police could continue during each of these weather events.

Our Buildings Operations personnel quietly maintain our facilities so employees can do their jobs of public safety. It’s not an easy task. Some of our buildings – like Headquarters, built in 1938 – are old and have continuous problems (thanks to the public safety sales tax, we are working to address these issues, but it will take time). The Building Operations staff members work so smoothly we often don’t think about all they do. In the three major snow events in the last month and a half, however, the importance of their work became very evident.

Unlike businesses and other government operations, the police department can’t shut down during inclement weather. In fact, that’s often when officers are needed most – helping stranded motorists and those involved in car crashes. But they would never be able to assist the public if they were snowed in at police stations. And they couldn’t have left the stations without all our Building Operations personnel did.

During each of our three big snow events, Building Ops crews logged about 160 man-hours of snow removal duty at our patrol division stations, Headquarters, Fleet Operations Unit, Helicopter Section and other critical facilities. That’s 480 total hours dealing with the snow. During each event, crews plowed; spread about 20 tons of salt; and two tons of ice melt. Personnel from Patrol, Fleet and Helicopter also came out to help. Their primary goal was to keep the patrol stations operational, then plow and salt all secondary lots.

As the reminder of their hard work melts away, I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank the members of our Building Operations Unit for all their hard work.

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