Pay Sun-Star For The Wrong Police Station Site?
By JOHN M. DERBY
August 10, 2017
because the price seems cheap, it doesn’t mean that
the old Merced Sun Star building is the right location for
the new city police station.
We agree with the city, a new police station is long overdue.
The Merced Sun Star site, offered for $1.6 million, is the
wrong site in the wrong location — and it does not
have any quick access to G Street going north, or offer
public accessibility for residents of south Merced.
Can one imagine a significant police emergency where additional
officers and detectives in support vehicles leave the station
(the old Merced Sun Star building) then head south to the
Alexander Road crossing; do a u-turn at Alexander, and then
head north only to meet a four way signal light at Olive
The Alexander street crossing is already busy, and the Olive
Avenue crossing is already a mess during high-traffic times.
Let the city fine a more appropriate site. One which provides
accessibility for the south side of town.
G Street is the right street because it has the railroad
underpass, but buying the old Sun Star site just puts the
city in a much greater bind.
And asking the city taxpayers to pay another tax to build
a new police station building on the site is not going to
Local taxpayers are already paying a tax for improved police
and fire safety.
We have long thought that the police station presently being
used near M Street should be purchased by the county to
become part of the Merced County Sheriff’s Department.
However, since the county is in a battle over giving the
sheriff’s deputies a pay raise, buying the existing
MPD building is probably out of the question.
We have advocated for a location for the new police station
closer to the downtown Merced core, but that idea seems
to have no support from the City Council. Almost any site
for a police station would involve buying some other property
with buildings already on the property. However, this may
not be such a bad idea since reports on the old Sun Star
building reveal that it can’t be renovated. It would
have to be torn down and replaced with a new building for
Since the Merced Fire Department already has a station on
east 16th Street, what would be the problem with locating
the new police station next to it?
There is easy access to G Street in both directions.
There is easy access to Yosemite Parkway heading east under
the two underpasses, and such a location would be closer
to Merced’s “hot spots” where a lot of
criminal activity takes place.
Why place a police station where there is the least amount
of crime and violence?
Is this to be a show place, or a place that’s accessible
to all residents, a place where emergencies can be handled
in the shortest amount of time possible, and a place that
helps overall criminal activity be deterred?
We feel the city needs to take a thoughtful look at where
criminal activity is taking place. Access to these areas
Spending city money on a building site like the old Sun
Star is just a waste, especially when it is leased back
to the present owners for $2,500 a month.
Spending more money on a bad idea doesn’t make it