GUEST OPINION: Do We Need a New Police Station?


By Judith Pond Pfeffer

A new police station. . . Should this be the Davis Thayer School or the Parmenter School? Or, should the current police station be greatly improved with a second-floor addition?

We, the Town of Franklin, seem to constantly opt for the new build, not for fixing, improving, modernizing the existing. We did this with the old high school, torn down completely. We did this with the old Horace Mann elementary school, by moving the town hall operations out and leaving the building to fail.

There is now existing a communication center for police and fire, for Franklin, along with neighboring towns, located in Norfolk. Neither the fire station nor the police station now need to reserve space for communication. Agreed, we now have an appropriate mix of male and female police officers, as we should have. This appropriate mix does not mandate a new multi-million-dollar building.

The current town council was presented with an in-depth report on senior and affordable housing needs in Franklin. There was a unanimous agreement of councilors present, plus Town administration present, that more senior and affordable housing was very much needed. This vocal support needs to be more than a public response in a televised forum. There needs to exist an actual commitment to make senior and affordable housing happen.

So why are/is the powers that be, now looking into the two most perfect buildings in Town, (for senior and affordable housing needs) the Davis Thayer School and the Parmenter School as the epitome of a place to set a proposed police station?

The Parmenter would be great! All on one floor, large kitchen dining area for special events and special dinners. Additional land to increase number of units as needed. The Davis Thayer School would be great! Many, many seniors, now still in Franklin, graduated from this school when it was the Davis Thayer High School. What local senior would not love an apartment in Miss. Holmes’ room, or Mr. Harrison’s room? Yes, it would need an elevator, would need to add an additional floor. Has a large kitchen dining area for special events and special dinners?

Seniors could easily walk to Black Box or Dean College for shows and plays, walk to the library, walk to several places to eat in the downtown area. Could watch kids playing games in the play fields in rear of the school.

Yes, the police station needs to be enlarged, and improvements added. Can we not investigate into enlarging and improving our existing building instead of pushing forward with a multimillion-dollar investment in taking a school building which would best be utilized (my opinion) for our seniors and affordable housing needs?

Best not to forget, Franklin is what it is today because of the work and expertise and involvement of our seniors who worked hard to make this the town that everyone wants to move into and become a part of.

Lifelong resident, Attorney Judith Pond Pfeffer served on the Franklin Town Council and Franklin School Committee and is currently on the Municipal Affordable Housing Trust Board.

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