Evaluating PD Facility Options for Interview Rooms

Police departments across the country face some big decisions when trying to decide where—or even how—to build their new interview room. Concerns about facility space and budgetary obligations often make these projects even more complicated.

Starting out, most PDs are faced with three different options for their new space. They can either renovate their existing facility, work to acquire and adapt another building, or solve their dilemma with brand-new construction. Knowing which approach is best takes careful consideration. Weighing the pros and cons of each option can help your police department make the right decision for a bright future. 

Option 1: Renovation

For many PDs, their first choice is to renovate or expand their current location to develop a new interview recording room. In order for renovation to be a viable option, however, a few key points must be addressed:

  • Can the property deliver the square footage necessary for a new interview recording room, as identified in the space needs analysis?
  • Will the building be able to effectively arrange group components—and separate public, staff, and prisoner movements—for efficient operations?
  • Does your existing facility meet the “essential services” of today’s building and structure code requirements for new equipment and technology?

If your site is able to make the necessary upgrades for an interview recording room, then your research might be finished here at step one. However, many police departments aren’t so lucky. Throughout the evaluation process, some PDs realize that their existing facility is just too small or obsolete to renovate. Going through the remodel process might actually cost more in the long-run and still produce for an inferior end result. If that appears to be the case, it’s time to move on to the next two alternatives.

Option 2: Acquisition

To weigh the second option, police departments must collect and rank a variety of alternate facility locations. This step can be more difficult because it requires more time, but the trouble is well worth the effort. If acquisition is the best choice for your new interview recording room, you must be able to answer these questions in the affirmative:

  • Will the new location be able to meet the necessary security zoning for a PD?
  • Does the site provide (or can it achieve) an appropriate civic facility image for our community?
  • Can the acquisition and remodeling process be completed in a timely manner, and within the approved budget?

The acquisition process can be arduous for any public office, and it may not always be the right course of action for your community. But under the right circumstances, adopting a new PD location can be a fruitful and exciting direction. Assessing the public’s reception and analyzing the costs will help you determine whether or not this option is the winner.

Option 3: Construction

Some PDs may shy away from the idea of new construction, but when the other two options just won’t work, a new building could become the best setup. Assuming you have enough funds for the construction project itself, asking these questions can help give confidence to your department’s decision:

  • Does the project site allow for adequate parking for department and public, and is the location easily accessible for our community? 
  • Will new construction meet our foreseeable long-term needs, and still have options for future expansion, if necessary?
  • Can the department reasonably manage the interim relocation needs and other related costs for the move?

Having the freedom and flexibility to design your new facility from the ground-up is a fantastic way to ensure you get all the features you want in your interview recording room and throughout your site. Also, never underestimate the value of an attractive building design and great landscaping. These can help your new police department be a success inside and out.

Need Interview Room Help? Trust iRecord.

Moving forward with your plans for a modern interview room isn’t always easy, but you know that upholding justice far outweighs the challenges of renovation or relocation. If you’re ready to take the next step with your project, know that iRecord is here to help. We’ve proudly partnered with engineering and architecture firms that specialize in public safety facility design across the United States and Canada. These relationships work to ensure you have the reliable interview recording equipment you need to do your job right.

Throughout the process, we’re also available for consultations on your new interview room designs and implementation. Please Let us know if you would like to utilize our system specifications in your new design. This helps ensure that your PD recording equipment is utilized in the best way possible. That way, you get the evidence you need for a seamless presentation in court. To learn more about your interview recording options or the iRecord equipment in general, please send us a message. We’re always happy to answer your questions!

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