Lederman & Edwards Boost Courthouse Sites Near Union Station, Combined Police Headquarters
Springfield City Council President Jesse Lederman and Vice President Melvin Edwards sent a letter last week to the Massachusetts Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance urging the state to consider construction plans that could allow for the construction of a new Hampden County Hall of Justice to be combined with a new headquarters for the Springfield Police Department.
The Councilor’s letter follows a 2021 Resolution that was passed by the Council and sponsored by City Council President Jesse Lederman that called on the Commonwealth to demolish the Hampden County Courthouse and address the longstanding public health and operational challenges that have persisted there.
“The recent report by DCAMM and announcement of an initial investment from the Commonwealth is a welcome indication that action is finally on the horizon to address the longstanding health and operational challenges of the Hampden County Hall of Justice,” said City Council President Jesse Lederman, “As the state moves forward with consideration of viable options, we are asking that they also consider the concept of a combined Public Safety Complex with the Springfield Police Department to further streamline operations and move forward a new headquarters and courthouse with possible savings in the long-term, as opposed to having to construct two separate facilities.”
The City of Springfield has been considering the need for a new Springfield Police Headquarters since 2015, citing the age of the existing headquarters, it’s operational limitations, and lack of ability to meet modern policing and National Accreditation standards.
“The potential of a combined public safety headquarters could be a win-win for the Commonwealth and for the City of Springfield both financially and operationally,” said City Council Vice President Melvin Edwards, “I believe it is worthy of consideration amongst the stakeholders as the process moves forward.”
Lederman and Edwards further urged the state to consider sites nearby Springfield Union Station, which they say would spur needed business and housing development on the northern end of Downtown in anticipation of the future arrival of east-west rail, as well as open up the existing Courthouse and Police Headquarters sites for additional needed business and housing development that is cohesive with their respective locations.
“While we believe it is too early in the process to be advocating in favor of a specific site, we do urge the Commonwealth to consider the broader economic impact of the construction of a new Hampden County Courthouse and possible Public Safety Complex. It is essential that any plan that moves forward enhances the economic integrity of Downtown Springfield, and provides the opportunity for further economic spin off from this monumental investment,” said the Councilors in their letter, which was CCd to the Offices of Governor Maura Healey and Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll.