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NDSP hosts open house for public

Karen Langley | Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Notre Dame Security/Police (NDSP) welcomed the public Tuesday morning to an open house for their new headquarters, Hammes Mowbray Hall, The headquarters, which also houses the new post office, is located across from Flanner Hall at the corner of Holy Cross and St. Joseph Drives. Though the open house was Tuesday, the new NDSP headquarters has been fully operational since Jan. 4. This opening culminated a three-year process, as the initial plans for Hammes Mowbray were made in early 2002. Though the foundations of the building were placed in the summer of 2002, the poor economy forced the University to halt construction projects until December 2003.”When we found that we would get to help plan a new headquarters, we looked at new law enforcement facilities throughout the Chicago and Michigan area,” NDSP Director Rex Rakow said. “We interviewed people about what they liked and what worked. The new facility is very functional. It came out well for us because as the final users, we were able to help the architects plan what would work.”NDSP utilizes the first three floors of the building. The first floor features a lobby with an ATM for safe nighttime use and a reception area. The parking and traffic division is also located in this front area. NDSP’s dispatch area is located in back.”The dispatch is the heart of what we do. This area is completely computer-run. The phones are integrated into touch screens,” Rakow said. “We usually have one or two men working dispatch, but that doubles on football weekends.”The first floor also has sally ports, which are garages used to hold drunk drivers’ cars. There is a holding room and a breathalyzer for intoxicated drivers. The administration wing is located on the second floor. This includes the offices of NDSP’s three directors and the main conference/situation room. There is a “quiet interview” room with couches for more sensitive interviews. This floor also has staff offices and an investigation wing.”We enjoyed the old building, and it served us well, but I doubt that there is a nicer campus law enforcement building [than Hammes Mowbray] in the nation,” said Chuck Hurley, the assistant director of the NDSP.The third floor of the new building houses the NDSP’s fitness room.”Sometimes when officers get off duty at 11 or 12, they like to work out before going home,” Rakow said.One full classroom and one seminar classroom are located on the third floor. Regular classes from different departments are now held in Hammes Mowbray. “I had phys. ed. in the old NDSP building, and this is so much nicer. It seems much more efficient and state-of-the-art,” freshman Natalie Rodden said. “It’s much more convenient for Mod Quad residents.”There are also some interagency offices that are available for use by local, county, state, and federal branches of law enforcement. “We are very excited about all of the cooperative training that is going to happen,” Rakow said.The third floor CSI lab features equipment for fingerprint lifting, photography and evidence processing and packaging. There is also a training room with tables and chairs that are designed to be foldable so that physical classes can also be held there. NDSP makes free fingerprint sets for anyone who requests them. About 1,200 sets of prints are made each year, mostly in answer to requirements for bar exams, law school entries and faculty grants.”This is a terrific addition to campus. NDSP deserves a good home, and it is a pleasure to see it in its finished form,” said Father Mark Poorman, Vice President for Student Affairs.