Tours of Ferndale Courthouse and Police Station June 26

Tours of Ferndale Courthouse and Police Station June 26nicholas-schrock-allstate

(Crystal A. Proxmire, June 20, 2014)

After 12 years of saving and suffering in cramped, outdated quarters, the staff of the 43rd District Court and the Ferndale Police Station will finally get to work in newly remodeled buildings.

The public is invited to celebrate along with them at a ribbon cutting and tours on June 26.  The buildings will be open from 5:30pm – 7pm that evening.

The employees have been working out of temporary spaces since October, with court being held in Ferndale HowesLocationCity Council chambers, police offices being in the basement of City Hall, and prisoners being held at the jail in Hazel Park. They are expected to be in their new spaces on Monday.

The $2.4 million renovation project brings functionality, style and more space to the antiquated buildings, without the expense of a complete rebuild. The project was funded with a fee placed on traffic tickets. The fee began twelve years ago so the court and police departments could save for this work without it coming from a bond or other city funds.

The Patrick T. Sullivan Police Station, named after a former Chief, was built in 1964 and has had very little work done since.  In the 1980s the old metal cell blocks were replaced with plexiglass walls as an anti-suicide measure.  And at some point the police cars became too big for the prisoner release garage, known as a “sally port,” so that area of the building was re-purposed. As technology became more waterworkimportant to the operation, wires were fit in where they could, typically hidden in the drop ceiling. Improvements include a warmer welcoming area for the public, a safer separation between prisoners and staff, and a structure better suited for the department’s electronic needs. For a detailed look at the issues the police station faced, see

The Courthouse was constructed in the 1930s and served as a mattress store and warehouse until the 1970s seed04_gallowaywhen it was converted into the courthouse. The remodel adds 4,000 square feet and allows the work flow to be reconfigured for the staff. There is a long hallway that gives more room for people who are waiting, increased security features, and several upgrades to make the building more handicapped accessible. For a view of the old courthouse and its woes see

Though the construction is complete, the court will continue collecting the fee on tickets for future maintenance and repairs.

Previous stories:

Pictures from the courthouse before remodeling:

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