Township police settling into new headquarters

by Joan Hellyer

The Northampton Township Police Department now operates out of a high tech facility to serve the town’s almost 40,000 residents.

The police force moved from its old 7,000 square-foot building a couple doors down on Township Road into its new 26,000 square-foot station in August.

The move was necessary because the department needs more space, Northampton Township Police Chief Michael Clark said.

“The older building was developed in the early 1970’s for 26 officers,” Michael said. “Today we have 44 officers and a number of part time and full time civilian staff. In the old building there was no room for expansion both inside and outside of the building. The (new) building is far more advanced in technology and provides our officers a space to work.” 

Northampton’s police force made 1,300 arrests last year, second only to Bensalem in Bucks County, Michael said.

It is one of the few departments in the county that is open 24 hours a day and offers a medication drop box in the front lobby for residents to discard their old or unneeded prescription medications.

The tightly secured facility is a necessity to properly serve the bustling community, the chief said.

“The new building has a drive in sally port so prisoners can be unloaded inside the building which makes the movement of prisoners safer,” he said. “We have a larger and more secure booking/processing area and larger evidence rooms. There is also a carport which we can use to keep our vehicles out of the elements especially during snow and ice events.”

Plus, there’s an indoor firing range within the station where officers can keep up with their firearms certifications instead of leaving the community to take care of that ongoing responsibility, the chief said.

The police station’s address is now 111 Township Road. 

The estimated $8 million facility was built on the site of the old Northampton Bucks County Municipal Authority.

The site became available after the authority moved less than a mile away to its new headquarters at 815 Bustleton Pike in Northampton Township.

Part of the authority’s old building was retained and expanded to create the new police station, Michael said.

Township officials will determine what to do with the old police station now that the department has relocated to the larger facility, the chief said.

The police force plans to host an open house for township residents to check out the new station once the finishing touches are completed on the facility, he said.

PHOTO CAP: Northampton Township Police Chief Michael Clark stands at the entrance to the department’s new police station.