The New Bedford Police Department has introduced enhanced central booking and sally port facilities at Police Headquarters at 781 Rockdale ave in the city.

The facilities opened and have been fully operational since December 6. The remodeling includes a secure, drive-through process with a remodeled booking area inside the station. The 1,920 square foot sally port is heated, fully accessible and features an enclosed garage with improvement on the overall flow and safety of everyone involved in the process.

The 337-square foot central booking area provides upgraded technology and security to double the number of staffing than the previous area. Together, the new facilities can process up to 12 detainees with an improved flow process.

“This is long overdue and is a great enhancement to ensure officer safety, the safety of the detainee, and the neighboring community,” said New Bedford Police Chief Joseph Cordeiro.

” When you come in now, you have a sally port that is protecting you from the weather especially ice and rain where you can slip and fall. It makes sure that when we take the detainees out of our vehicle, they don’t take off. We have had an experience where we have had an escapee in the past,” added Cordeiro.

The project that began in late Spring cost a little over $830,000.

The previous facilities were in existence since the police department took over the building in the late 1990s.

“This creates an environment that is a lot safer for the officers and the detainees. The overall fluidness of the operation,” said Chief Cordeiro.

The New Bedford Police Department has made significant investments in public safety in 2019. Earlier this year, city and police officials announced 11 new police cruisers, an investment of approximately $566,000 in free cash, or unused funds from the previous fiscal year.

In addition, $7.6 million was approved by the City Council to upgrade and replace the City’s public safety radio communications, including fiber infrastructure, design, and implementation. The department has also invested more than $100,000 in other equipment, purchasing portable radios, including an equipment grant, as well as 40 active shooter grants.

— WBSM