Police department preparations

Guillermo Gonzalez holds a laser level as work continues on the

Gilroy
– Gilroy police officers will ask City Council to name the
department’s new station in recognition of the leadership and
dedication of C.J. Laizure, the city’s first police chief.
The man who helped transform the city from a marshal and
constable to a department of a sworn police chief and officers is
still a Gilroy resident and keeps in contact with some current
members of the force.
By Lori Stuenkel

Gilroy – Gilroy police officers will ask City Council to name the department’s new station in recognition of the leadership and dedication of C.J. Laizure, the city’s first police chief.

The man who helped transform the city from a marshal and constable to a department of a sworn police chief and officers is still a Gilroy resident and keeps in contact with some current members of the force.

“He brought the organization into a modern law enforcement world,” said Gregg Giusiana, current chief of the Gilroy Police Department who was hired by Laizure in 1974. “There are lots of things that he did that are still in place that were quite remarkable at the time. It was quite an accomplishment, and I think this is a good way to honor him.”

Laizure was hired as chief of the newly formed GPD in 1959, sworn in 1960, and in 20 years with the city did things like standardize officer uniforms and badges and was an advocate for continuing training, Giusiana said.

Sgt. John Sheedy, representing the Gilroy Police Officers Association, officially will propose the station name to City Council Monday, March 21.

Meanwhile, as construction continues on the $27.7 million, 48,900-square-foot station at Hanna and Seventh streets – roughly a block southwest of the existing 7370 Rosanna St. station – it is now as much as a month behind its timeline. The station will not be ready in time for the previous March 2006 completion date, after excessive rainfall, said Scott Gilpatric, project manager with Harris & Associates.

“It hasn’t helped things, to say the least,” Gilpatric said, “but hopefully, with some good weather, we can continue to get some good progress going.”

Crews are continuing to build the building’s perimeter walls, and the walls for the jail area. Later this week, they expect to pour the last of the concrete for the floors of the underground parking garage.

Most of the actual construction site has been protected from rainfall, Gilpatric said.

“The contractor (S.J. Amoroso) is making a conscious effort to sheet the interior areas with plastic, and as long as we cover the outside walls with plastic, we can continue to work,” he said.

The station will begin to take shape more quickly in April, when the structural steel arrives.

Planning for the technology that will be inside the station continues with the selection of telephone and computer systems, said Capt. Scot Smithee.

“They’re going to try to go with wireless technology, so we don’t have to have wires all over the place,” he said.

City Council in February approved the hire of an independent consulting firm to assist in replacing the current phone system, because the hub for all city departments will be located in the new station. The city’s phone subcommittee interviewed five consultants who had experience with multiple vendors’ software and hardware, and knowledge of emerging technologies such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), which the city is considering.

A consultant with Pacific Design Engineering in Pleasanton was unanimously selected, at a cost of $50,000, and approved by councilmen Feb. 22.

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