Skokie Police Department, located just west of Chicago in Skokie, Illinois, has always earned high marks for service—but doing so became increasingly difficult in the department’s former police station. A 27,000 square-foot facility built in 1957, the building and its storage systems were not sufficient when it came to supporting the current police force.
Given the situation and faced with the impending growth of the suburban village, the Village of Skokie moved forward converting a 79,300 square-foot abandoned bottling facility into a new police headquarters. In planning the new building, decision-makers went to great lengths to make sure the facility worked for the officers and personnel that used the space on a daily basis—overhauling the department’s gear bag, short-term and long-term evidence, records, and locker room storage.
MAKING PEOPLE THE PRIORITY
Because a top priority from the start was the department’s most valuable asset—its people—particular attention was paid to the facility’s uniform and gear lockers, which every person at the department described as “home base.” “Employees truly appreciate it when you do what you can to make their jobs easier, and storage systems definitely play a role in helping us do that,” says Barry Silverberg, Chief of Police for Skokie Police Department.
Having secure uniform and gear lockers would certainly help with that goal, so the department’s locker committee developed a list of criteria and brought them to Bradford Systems, the authorized Spacesaver distributor in the Chicago area. After reviewing the needs and wants of the department, Spacesaver designed 142 FreeStyle® Personal Storage lockers, specifically engineered with a host of options and interchangeable features.
SKOKIE LOCKER FEATURES
- A heavy-duty bench made out of hardwood that doubles as a drawer. The 36” deep sliding drawer includes ample room for storage, and a place to sit for the officers that was dearly missed at the old facility
- Double doors that open from the middle
- Adjustable, full-width shelves with a integral garment hanger
- Electrical integration for powering and charging electronic devices such as flashlights, chargers, and laptops
- Notches on the inside of each locker to hang duty belts
- Three-hook assemblies on each side of the locker interior to hang additional garments, which can be positioned in the locker as needed without tools
According to Silverberg, the lockers are just one piece of an integrated storage solution at Skokie PD that has contributed to a much more positive working environment at the department. “What it often boils down to in law enforcement is time savings and productivity. Both ultimately lead to higher morale and in turn, a higher level of service to the community.”