The San Francisco Police Department broke ground on a new facility Thursday in the city’s Bayview neighborhood, set to house the department’s Traffic Company and Forensic Services Division.
The 100,000-square-foot, seismically safe building will be located at 1995 Evans, once it’s completed in the Fall of 2021.
“The Police Department’s Traffic Company and Forensic Services Division are an important part of our city’s emergency response plan, and it’s critical that they are located in a seismically-safe building so that they can continue to serve the community in the hours and days after an earthquake or other emergency,” San Francisco Mayor London Breed said in a statement.
“The development of a new, seismically safe and easily accessible facility will help us continue to respond quickly to the needs of San Francisco, provide uninterrupted service during a disaster and enable a rapid recovery for our city,” police Chief William Scott said.
Currently the Traffic Company and the Forensic Services Division are both located in the Hall of Justice at 850 Bryant St., a building that city officials have long said is seismically unsafe. Other Forensic Services Division facilities like the forensic laboratory are located at the Hunters Point Shipyard in a building that is set to be demolished.
The new facility will be equipped with multiple laboratory spaces, a safe room to store evidence, a firearm testing facility, a briefing room and several office spaces and conference rooms. Additionally, the location has space for SFPD motorcycle parking.
The Forensic Services Division is tasked with collecting, analyzing and comparing physical evidence crime scenes. Meanwhile, the Traffic Company, or motorcycle police, handle crowd control, traffic enforcement, and vehicle inspections, among other traffic support.
According to the mayor’s office, the police motorcycles play an important part in the city’s emergency response plan, as they’re easier to maneuver through city streets, especially in the event of an earthquake.
The project, which is being managed by the city’s Public Works department, is being funded with Earthquake Safety and Emergency Response Bond program, passed overwhelmingly by voters in both 2010 and 2014.
-Daniel Montes, Bay City News