Too vulnerable to an attack -- that's what Salinas police officers say about their own parking lot. The building has been without a back fence for decades and now the City Council will decide if the city will spend the money to build one.
If you take a walk along Church Street behind the Salinas police station, you'll see police units drive in and out, officers gearing up and if you wanted, you could walk right up to and look inside a parked unit. Nothing is stopping you.
"I've worked here for about 28 years and we needed it since the day I started here," says Salinas Police Chief Kelly McMillin.
McMillin says the lack of fence is a violation of industry standards.
"Everyday they come out they have to load this car up, get it ready to go to work, turn on the computer load equipment up. during that time they are very vulnerable they are focused inside the car not what is going on around here," said McMillin.
The dept isn't requesting your typical chain link fence. The project calls for a stucco fence with electronic gates for easy entry and exit of officers, "because we do do things that shouldn't happen in the public eye back here," said McMillin.
The city's Public Works Department estimates the construction of the fence will cost $150,000, administrative overhead $22,000, inspection and contingencies will cost another $20,000 for a total of $200,000.
"While the fence may be expensive, having a civilian employee or a police officer or a member of the community hurt back here because we don't have that fence up, will cost the city in the long run a lot more than just the price of the fence," says McMillin.
If the funds are available they will also re-stripe the parking lot. The proposal will be presented to City Council Tuesday. If approved, bids for the project will open February, with a completion of this summer.