Inspection unveils fire hazards at IMPD Northwest District

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– Earlier this week, Public Safety Director Troy Riggs cited a lack of a fire suppression system as the reason for shutting down IMPD’s East District Headquarters and evacuating the Regional Operations Center on the city’s east side.

Riggs said he would not put the lives of policemen and women in danger because of where they worked.

A tour of IMPD’s Northwest District Headquarters by Fox 59 News has determined the same dangers exist for officers across town where 100 officers, civilians and visitors do business every day.

“If I were to ask, ‘Are my people’s lives in danger?’” said Commander Brian Mahone, “I would say, no.”

But in July, Mahone was so moved by the deteriorating conditions at his headquarters that he requested an inspection by an IFD fire marshal.

That inspection confirmed there is no fire suppression system in the leased building, no smoke detectors, no alarms, broken or inadequate exit signs and emergency lights and fire extinguishers left uncharged for years.

“We went through the building to see if we needed (a sprinkler system) as far as the law and then we looked at, can we put one in here because the building is pretty old,” said Mahone.

The building formerly housed an Indy racing team and was leased to the city, without a sprinkler system, in 2007.

“Right now, as soon as we get an estimate or a code order, we’ll look to put a suppression system in here,” said Mahone. “That’s what we’re waiting on and an alarm system. We’ve got to know if something starts smoldering in here in the middle of the night.”

There’s a hole in the rough where water leaks into the bays that house millions of dollars’ worth of police motorcycles and SWAT and bomb disposal vehicles that are protected by fire extinguishers.

The staff sweltered most of the summer due a malfunctioning air conditioning unit.

Due to the age of the building, IFD determined that it was not required to have a fire suppression system, unlike the ROC which the city opened in 2012 without sprinklers.

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