BICKNELL, Ind. (WTHI) – Bicknell Mayor Jon Flickinger, alongside Bicknell Police Chief Paul Jones are working in an effort to relocate the city’s police force from the basement of city hall. The Police Department, which has called city hall home since the 1930′s has become antiquated, lacking room, and poses a security threat to its staffers.
Mayor Flickinger, this month, is working on filling out paperwork for a grant in the amount of $50,000 to help relocate the department, to its new home, a donated building once occupied by Casey’s Gas Station. Casey’s donated the building to the city, after it moved its business to the intersection of highway 67 and 159.
The Gas Station, which sits around the corner from City Hall would provide security for police officers, and dispatchers, which would also work out of the building. The Department’s current digs, in city hall, are a fire hazard, and lack the ability to keep its over night staffers safe.
“It’s just too crowded down there and it’s just too dangerous, it’s late at night the dispatchers are exposed to the public,” said Flickinger.
While City Hall keeps normal business hours, a bullet proof glass window, with no covering, allows passersby to look into the dispatch area. Two more windows sit in this part of the building, which acted the Department’s outdated jail holding area. The jail was home to two inmate cells. One of those cells was converted into a makeshift breakroom and file storage area; the second, still exists a jail cell. But it poses problems of its own. Mayor Flickinger noted, anytime the building sees rain or snow, water accumulates on the jail cell’s floor.
Aside from public interaction with dispatchers, and a constant chance for a wet floor, an even greater problem, Flickinger noted, is that there is only one exit into and out of this area of city hall. Only a door separates the jail and dispatch area, which sits on city hall’s lower level; creating a fire hazard.
“And if there happened to be a fire, or anything down there in the Hallway, that is the only way in, and the only way out,” he added.
The Mayor has made it his personal mission to alleviate these issues, as his police force continues to grow. A new officer was recently hired, which will put the force’s staff at 5; its now looking for a 6th team member. With all of those people in such a small area, it’s hard for anyone to get around.
“It’s definitely something I’ve been trying to for the last three years now,” said Mayor Flickinger. There is no official time table for the renovation of the new building to begin, however, a firm is now designing a rough draft of how the new station would be remodeled. Once those plans are returned, the Mayor intends to fill out the grant paperwork, along with these images and ship them off.
Regardless of whether or not the grant is approved, the Mayor still intends to remodel the gas station and move hi