The SUNY New Paltz University Police Department (UPD) is now housed in the renovated Service Building in a space that is larger than their previous home and better equipped to support their maintenance of a secure campus environment.
“This new location provides the Department with a number of upgrades, but the biggest is probably that it gives us the space to operate safely and effectively,” said University Police Chief David Dugatkin ‘85.
The front-end of the reorganized UPD is the new dispatch center, outfitted with multiple display screens and other advanced communications technology that makes it easier for officers to keep in touch with campus. Dispatch officers sit behind ballistic windows, monitor activity and greet visitors to the station.
“We didn’t have this ability to communicate with campus to this extent before,” Dugatkin said. “It’s a step up in technology that helps us be more responsive.”
Major upgrades have also been made to support investigations, suspect interviews and the holding of defendants. The addition of a separate prisoner entrance means arrested persons will not need to pass through the main entrance area on their way to booking.
There are new rooms dedicated solely to prisoner interviews, with audio and video recording equipment, and a new booking room contains audio and video recording as well as a fingerprinting station, breathalyzer, and a bathroom. This contributes to overall station security, as in most cases suspects can be contained in a single room throughout the booking process.
“They never have to leave this room, and we stay with them in here the entire time,” Dugatkin said.
A separate intake room is used for those who visit the station to report possible crimes. The design of these rooms, and the general separation of intake from booking, are among the most meaningful structural upgrades for the UPD.
“If you had come in to the old station to report a theft or other crime, we would have had to put you in the same room where defendants were being interviewed, where officers were working on computers and maybe where someone was eating lunch,” Dugatkin said. “Now, you come in, an officer takes your report in a clean and safe space, and then you’re on your way.”
The back of the station also includes a squad room large enough to accommodate shift briefings and staff trainings, some of which had to be held at remote locations on campus prior to the move due to lack of space.
Other features of the new building include an expanded records storage room, work stations and locker rooms for officers and locked quartermaster, supply and evidence rooms. A majority of doors in the new facility, including the one leading from the entrance to the rest of the building, are constantly locked and can be opened only by card access.
More information about the SUNY New Paltz University Police Department is available online.