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New Medford police station almost ready for action

A shiny, new Medford police station is almost complete, and city workers took a quick tour of the three-story structure Thursday afternoon.

Despite the modern, open feel of the building, it features a few less-than-homey touches, including holding cells that look anything but comfortable.

"It's terrible," City Planner Carla Paladino said as she stared at the cramped quarters and the stainless-steel toilet that dominates the holding cells.

Police officers themselves will have plenty of extra room to spread out in the 46,500-square-foot building, especially compared to the cramped quarters on the first floor of City Hall.

The officers also will have a lot more security.

Inside the lobby on the first floor, the records department has bullet-resistant glass and other security features. The building has plenty of other features that will keep suspects and victims separated.

The front door has a high-tech feature that will protect victims, as well.

"If a victim is fleeing from a suspect, they can go into that room and hit a panic button that will lock them in," Medford police Chief Randy Sparacino said. If it is after hours, the victim can use a phone inside the main doors to call for help, he said.

On the third floor, officers will have a large training room, and an adjacent room will offer simulation exercises.

Adroit Construction Co. of Ashland expects to finish it by September, but Sparacino said he expects the grand opening will be held the first week of October after equipment and furniture are moved in.

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or dmann@mailtribune.com. Follow him on www.twitter.com/reporterdm.