Repairs raise concerns about Phila. police facilities

PHILADELPHIA - July 10, 2013

AID officers and support staff were evacuated Wednesday after an asbestos scare at their facility at 26th and Master streets.

"I went to lunch and I came back and it was like a circus," said Tom Donahue, John Meehan & Sons.

Donahue was working in the building after officers reported a constant problem with the HVAC system.

The problem was finally fixed but as workers continued their repairs, black dust from the roof came down on officers' desks.

"Inside the operations room it was just a fine dust," said John McNesby, President of the FOP.

City inspectors were called in and while no asbestos material was found, the workers were evacuated as a precaution.

The health department came in Wednesday afternoon to take samples to test.

The job site will be shutdown until the report is brought back but also because the construction company did not have permits to do the work.

Nesby says this is just part of an ongoing issue.

"It's a problem throughout the city, throughout every police facility except the brand new ones," he said.

An Action News investigation in 2010 showed the problems at several police facilities.

McNesby says after years of neglect, the problems only continue to get worse.

"We've begged for answers and what we got was a lot of finger pointing," said McNesby.

In April, the City of Philadelphia and Fraternal Order of Police went to arbitration over the complaints regarding the conditions at police facilities.

The arbitrator told the City that the facilities need to be cleaned up and the City has now budgeted $10 million to fix them this year.

"Officer safety. There is no way a cop should have to come to work and live and work in deplorable conditions, it's just not acceptable," said McNesby.

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