Mammoth Town Staff vs. Police Over New MLPD Station

Mammoth police officers and Town staff earlier clashed over a location for a new police station. Now, council members have directed staff to look at all options.mlpd_3-23-10

The current police station cramps officers into a small, twisty space with many problems. Few would deny the need for a new facility. According to Town government sources, police officers evaluated five possible sites for a new police station, presented by Town staff. The number one choice was the Grumpy’s building on Old Mammoth Road. The least favored site was the Sierra Center Mall, due to space and security considerations. In fact, police said they would rather stay where they are than go to Sierra Center Mall.

In spite of that strong position, Town staff presented Sierra Center Mall as the number one choice of police. With money concerns high on the list, Assistant Town Manager Karen Johnston focused on the cost. Sierra Center Mall was the cheapest. The Town even entered into a letter of intent to lease Sierra Center Mall for a new police station.

When contacted about this issue, Councilman Rick Wood confirmed it did unfold as stated, but he said the letter of intent to lease Sierra Center Mall was not binding. In fact, the letter expired. Wood said that staff was directed to continue to pursue other options.

Councilman Wood confirmed the report that new Interim Chief Dan Watson said that the mall would not work – the garage entrance is too low to accommodate patrol cars and prisoner security is a problem. Wood said of the dilapidated current police station, “Clearly, we have to do something.” Wood believes Chief Watson will tackle the issue when he returns.

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