New Police Center for Salem, Why it's Needed Now

Salem's security will take a leap into the future with the completion of a new public safety center. The newly reimagined plan calls for taxpayers to invest in a $61.8 facility just seconds away from downtown and the heart of municipal life.

Thanks to the efforts of elected officials and the citizen-led advocacy group, Friends of Salem Police, a fresh effort is underway to replace our outdated and compromised police station built in 1972.

By approving a bond measure this spring, voters will endorse a plan that will provide a sensible and highly functional work environment for 21st Century crime fighting and prevention.

The move into new police headquarters, to be located at the old O’Brien Auto Group site off Commercial Street NE, will clear the way to make seismic upgrades to the Salem Civic Center and revitalize the plaza.

Modern Police Center Helps Lead to Safe Neighborhoods

  • A recent survey confirms Salem’s strong support for its law enforcement team.
  • Ninety-one percent of respondents indicated they feel “safe” or “very safe.”
  • Nearly seven in 10 rated overall police operation and performance positively.
  • A centrally located, fortified and modernized hub for law enforcement will help keep neighborhoods safe.

How the Dollars and Cents Make Sense

Police have simply run out of room and ideas on how to make a building erected in 1972 work efficiently in 2017.

The new headquarters will eliminate the need for a long list of costly work-arounds and make-do solutions that total $500,000 annually.

Plus, all of law enforcement’s emergency response vehicles – like those used by the bomb squad and SWAT team – will be housed in one facility. The patchwork system in place today is inefficient and wasteful.

The investment to remedy this situation by passing the bond issue would cost the owner of a $200,000 home about $1 per week.

Keeping up with Changing Public Safety Issues

Think about how much has society has changed in the 45 years since the Salem Civic Center opened. That was before the age of school shootings, bombings of federal buildings, online sexual misconduct, identity theft, targeted violence against police officers.

A fully equipped and technologically updated police center will prepare Salem’s 190 sworn officers, 136 civilians and 95 volunteers for that day when normal activities give way to the extraordinary.

But more than that, units of our police force exist to prevent crime and promote safety.

Please vote YES by May 16 on Measure 24-420.