BARBERTON: The city is looking into a new home for the police department and the courts.
City council approved a facility planning study contract Monday that will bring in GPD Group to conduct a needs assessment to determine what it may cost for a new facility, Judge David Fish said.
“We don’t know what sites are available, we don’t know if there’s open land to build on or if we’ll need to retrofit a new building, and we don’t know the costs,” Fish said. “We need to know what we don’t know.”
They are doing the same assessment for the court systems, clerk of courts, probation department and the law department. Fish said the planning study will determine where the new facility might be, and emphasized they would like to keep it in Barberton.
Court Administrator Susan Sweeney found a grant from the State Justice Institute that focuses on justice system site planning to address safety and justice needs. Sweeney said the grant is for $50,000.
Because the municipal building was built in 1952, Fish said the police department and the clerk’s office have doubled in size, and a one-judge court turned into a two-judge court.
“Right now we’re all kind of intermingled,” Fish said. “This way the courts along with the police have a safe and secure facility where they can have prisoners come to court and are walled off from the public.”