By Alex Lloyd Gross
When a Bensalem resident asked Fred Harran, the Director of Public Safety about holding another open house Harran thought it was a good idea. “You know, we have not done one in a while, it would be a good thing to do. I told her we would try to do one by the end of the month and, well, we’re only off by a couple of days,” Harran said. So a date was picked, it would be best to do it on a weekend and not a date that would interfere with an Eagles game. November 2, 2019 was chosen and the weather could not have been better if it was purchased.
People waited in the lobby where one of the township Lieutenants would gather a group and take them to see the inner workings of the police station. Jail cells, dispatch console and DNA labs,nothing was off limits. “We are the 9th largest police department in the state of Pennsylvania,” Harran said, bursting with pride as he explained the DNA Testing that is done.
Inside the township police station, officers can see live inside all of the township schools, via a video link feed. In case of an incident of an intruder, this will allow officers to be kept informed of the person’s whereabouts until officers arrive on scene. Other cameras monitor and record intersections and can be played back in case of an accident, to determine fault.
Most of the police station consists of office space. interview rooms, work rooms computers, stuff kids might find boring. Outside, they were very happy to be able to play on and around police cars. They could try on SWAT gear, operate a siren or look at the radios on display inside the command bus. Two K-9 dogs were there with their handlers. The dogs were well behaved and would pose for photos and tolerated getting petted. Tolerated is the best word to use. They were fixated on their toys.
The tour was about 45 minutes in length, not including the outside part, which is where the vehicle were. “We do this because it’s not my police station, it’s yours. It belongs to the public and this is a great way for us to show the public what we do with their things,” Harran said.. During this kind of event, Harran will field complaints from the public about speeding vehicles through their neighborhood. “What people have to realize is that most people that speed through their area are their neighbors,” Harran said.