UMPD to move into new East Pleasant Street home Tuesday

By Collegian News Staff

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Ashley Lesperance/Collegian

The University of Massachusetts Police Department (UMPD) will move into its new home at 585 East Pleasant Street today, according to a release from the UMass News Office. The $12.5 million facility, under construction since 2008, will be up and running by Tuesday at 3 p.m., UMPD Chief Johnny C. Whitehead told the Office. The new station replaces UMPD’s old facility in Dickinson Hall.

The 27,130-square-foot facility nearly triples the Department’s current space constraints, and will be a home for all of Department’s functions, including its patrol, investigation, specialized and emergency services, crime prevention and educational initiatives offices. In addition to providing some much-needed real estate for the UMPD, the building marks a shift towards a greater focus on green building here at UMass, as it will be the school’s first to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifications, according to the release.

In the release, Whitehead said the upgrade gives UMPD better resources to serve the community.

“The new station provides our department with all of the tools that a highly-professional police force needs,” he said.

Beyond its primary function as the new police station, the facility will also serve as a regional emergency dispatch center, according to the release. The dispatch center will house areas for emergency service calls, UMass’ emergency notification system, the campus’ fire alarm system and security camera grid, in addition to aiding UMPD in maintaining communications with its mutual aid partners, the Amherst, Hadley and Belchertown police departments.

Whitehead also said he hopes the station will help the UMPD improve community relations and provide a space for community programs.

“We have developed many crime prevention programs and initiatives for the community, such as the Citizens Police Academy, Rape Aggression Defense and active threats training,” he said in the release. “This facility will allow us to present these programs to the community in a modern facility.”

All phone numbers to reach the UMPD’s offices will remain the same. According to the release, a dedication and an open house will be held at an as-yet undetermined time in the fall.

-Collegian News Staff