Residents raising funds to expand storage for police in Pleasant Grove maxed out on space

Posted at 7:03 PM, Sep 17, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-17 21:03:55-04

PLEASANT GROVE, Utah -- Pleasant Grove Police Chief Michael Smith shows off the cramped quarters at the police station Thursday.

"We've just kind of put stuff everywhere," he said, pointing to what used to be a large hallway that is now filled with makeshift offices.

They've filled every nook and cranny with files, police gear and evidence. The storage space? An unfinished bathroom, an elevator shaft, and even underneath the stairs.

"We've just hit a max," Smith said. "We've grown everywhere we can."

Last month it came to a head, when a sewage leak seeped into their evidence room, which is actually the boiler room.

But voters won't approve a new facility. Twice they've rejected multi-million dollar bonds that would give police and fire personnel more space.

Then, Pleasant Grove resident Wendy Morgan got an idea.

"I think this is a prime place to put it," she said, pointing to an empty lot across from the police station.

Her plan? Raise money to buy the city a shipping container.

"The shipping container would get us almost 2,700 cubic feet of storage," she said.

The City Council gave her the blessing on Tuesday to raise the money for the gift. The city has already put together a nine-person committee tasked with finding a solution to the over-crowding issue that voters will support, but an answer is still quite a ways off.

"Very creative, very thoughtful on their part," said Pleasant Grove Mayor Michael Daniels.

He said he appreciated that Morgan asked the question, "What can we do as citizens to help out in this situation?"

Morgan kicked off a GoFundMe page the next day, with a $5,000 goal. It's already taken off.

"In one day we raised 17 percent towards goal," she said.

Smith said they won't be able to put evidence in the container because of security issues, but they'll still have plenty to store in it.

"There's absolutely things that we can put in there that will help," he said. "I think it's a great gesture from the residents of our city that's trying to help, and we really appreciate it."

Morgan said once they raise the funds, it'll take about a week for the shipping container to arrive. They have a few options for the location, but, wherever it ends up, Morgan said they'll spruce up the outside to make it look nice.

It'll also be open for the fire department to use as well.

While it's not a long-term solution to the storage issue, Morgan hopes it'll provide temporary relief until the city figures out how to move forward.

"We love the city, and we're really hoping to unify all the people that have had differences of opinion in the past," she said. "We think this is a great cause, and it's a great way to show our city, our police department, our fire department, and all of the great men and women who work for the city how much we love and appreciate what they do every day."

Click here to visit the GoFundMe page for the project.