Work Underway On Converting Vacant Office Building Into A Frederick Police Dept. Headquarters

Chief Lando says the inside looks like ‘a complete gut job.’

William Donald Schaefer Building, Frederick, Md

Frederick, Md (KM) Progress is being made in converting the  William Donald Schaefer Building at 100 East All Saints Street into a new Frederick Police Department Headquarters. That’s according to Police Chief Jason Lando who says he recently took a tour of the building. “Looking at it with my own eyes, it’s a complete gut job,”: he said. “It is down to the shell. All of the demolition has been completed. And now I’m assuming if they haven’t already, very shortly they’re going to begin the work on the inside.”

The City of Frederick agreed to purchase the building in November, 2021, for about $6 million. In August, 2022, the Board of Aldermen approved a $19.8 million contract with Waynesboro Construction to design and construct what’s needed for the new headquarters. It’s expected to be completed by December, 2024, city officials say.

The Frederick Police Department currently occupies cramped space at the County Court House.  For years, the city has been looking for a new police headquarters.

Chief Lando, who was a guest last week on WFMD’s “Morning News Express,”: says he has been asking his officers and civilian staff for their ideas on what they want in their new police headquarters. “We’ve been working for over a year, meeting once or twice a month with the architects and with the designers and with the city’s lead, Marc De O’Campo, on the project. So every workspace will be designed based on the feedback of the people using that space,” he says.

As an example, he points to the crime lab. “Sabrina Swan is out crime lab supervisor. She’s the pro in that area. Who am I to say what should go into a crime lab. She does the work everyday. She and her team–just using one example–she and her team really got to design what her space is going to look like,” he says.

Part of the design team includes someone who is an expert in building police buildings.  ” So he brings that to the table with him, So when we say ‘hey, we’re now getting ready to look at this space, or that space. What are other police departments doing? What is the industry’s best practice? What is the industry  standards,” says Chief Lando.

There will be security measures put in place, but Chief Lando said bulletproofing the building would be “cost prohibitive.. “So we looked at the areas the officers and the professional staff will be working the most, where people will be exposed, where the first floor entry and exit points are, where the glass is and we hardened those areas,” he says.

“We are designing this building according to industry best practices and standards,” Chief Lando continues. “And we’re going to make it safe as we possibly can.”

The building once housed the Frederick County Department of Social Services, but has been vacant for a few years.

By Kevin McManus