The Onondaga County Sheriff is pushing for a new public safety complex, with his office being one of the key tenants.
Sheriff Gene Conway tells NewsChannel 9 they are in the early stages of developing a project proposal for such a facility.
He says it would bring many benefits not only to his department, but to others within the county as well as the public.
At the Sheriff’s Office Headquarters in Downtown Syracuse alone, Conway details many deficiencies like lack of parking, security and handicap accessibility.
Conway also mentions his department has several facilities, most suffering from age like the Heliport they had been using for the Air-1 helicopter.
Air-1 has been moved out of the Heliport because of fear for its safety as the building condition declines rapidly.
It is now housed with the 174th Attack Wing at Hancock Field.
“So together, old facilities and a design that’s not functional and not efficient and doesn’t really allow for consolidation of more services are all reasons why I feel this county should move towards a public safety complex.” Conway says.
He adds the current makeup of many Sheriff’s Office facilities spread around the county makes it very efficient for his staff to do its work and for providing services to the public.
Conway says other municipalities in the US have the kinds of public safety complexes he’s talking about.
“They have a facility that houses their law enforcement, houses their 911 center, houses their emergency management operations and also houses other organizations that are not for profits or volunteer that provide a service to law enforcement.” Conway tells NewsChannel 9.
He says it would provide better service, better functionality, not be cost prohibitive and perhaps down the road, could save money.
While still early, Conway says he’s had conversations with county leaders about it, and his office has begun the lengthy capital improvement process that would be necessary for Onondaga County to even consider such a project.