Department of Public Safety closes Regional Operations Center for safety hazards

INDIANAPOLIS - The Department of Public Health has made the call to completely shut down the Regional Operations Center (ROC) usually occupied by police officers and civilian personnel, due to myriad code violations.

Officials said Monday that the ROC, also known as the East District Roll Call site, would be closed to its usual inhabitants immediately after an investigative team determined there were multiple fire safety problems that persisted in the building, despite previous efforts to fix them.

Director of Public Safety Troy Riggs said the two main problems forcing the closure are an inadequate fire wall and a less-than-satisfactory sprinkler system in the basement, but he said there is a long list of other items that need to be fixed.

Riggs said the immediate closure was prompted by his discovery that many problems he was told got fixed – were not fixed.

“The building can be made safe,” Riggs said. “(But at this time) we cannot have people in this facility that has been deemed unsafe by the Department of Code Enforcment.”

A study of the site earlier in the year uncovered widespread deficiencies and unsafe conditions. The building was closed back in January so a contractor could upgrade the fire alarm system and install more fire and smoke detection equipment.

In January, the city of Indianapolis fired off an ultimatum letter through its attorneys, accusing the site’s landlord of ignoring repeated requests to make repairs and finish construction. Riggs repeatedly said Monday, however, that the city does not want to go down the litigation route.

Riggs said the attorneys for both sides are working together to come to a solution that is a good deal for taxpayers.

"I am disappointed. I mean taxpayers have spent a lot of money to have a Regional Operational Center. I know I inherited this building, but I know when taxpayers spend their money, they should get what they spent their money on and we're going to make sure that occurs," Riggs said.

Riggs also mentioned that while the building is empty of its personnel, it will have security in place to prevent break-ins. Officers are set to move to the Police Academy on Post Road in the meantime.

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