The municipality of Aurora, Colorado spans three counties—Arapahoe, Adams, and Douglas—and is the largest suburb of Denver. Due to fast growth in recent decades, it is now over half the size of Denver, prompting the city’s former mayor to joke that he hoped the area might be called the “Aurora/Denver Metropolitan area” someday.
This population growth has come with a large increase in the number of police officers and staff members of the Aurora Police Department, which is comprised of nearly 6,000 officers. Those officers serve with a simple but important mission statement—“to make Aurora safer everyday.”
A few years ago, the department had reached its breaking point. With so many officers, it was getting increasingly difficult to manage the equipment and uniforms that were needed to keep the department running smoothly. Quartermaster police storage was cluttered and strewn across several different rooms. There was no order to the process of obtaining gear, and it resulted in wasted time and general frustration. To make matters even more challenging, there wasn’t a designated person at the department devoted to working with the quartermaster gear, which meant that many different people were accessing the supplies on a daily basis.
The department had an idea—there was a room currently being used for photography and video purposes. If they were able to get money to renovate that room, they would assign a permanent Quartermaster position and move all of the gear into that room, creating one central space for police storage.
The department submitted a Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) for funds for the renovation, but before the grant was sent off, they consulted with Gary Lowery, a Storage Consultant formerly with Improve Group, a Spacesaver authorized distributor. Having previously worked with the department to install a better evidence locker storage solution, Lowery worked with Aurora at the very beginning of the grant process to not only give them a budget number to submit with the rest of their materials, but to also produce a proposed layout of the room and a list of reasons how having this particular police storage would benefit their department.
After being awarded the grant, Aurora Police Department was able to install a Wheelhouse high-density mobile system with PIN pad access. The Wheelhouse system and corresponding XpressDEK rail and floor system meant that the mobile storage was non-grouted and could be easily installed on top of the existing floor—important in the event that Aurora would need to expand their storage further or relocate it in the future. In addition, it was a cost-effective solution that fit perfectly within their grant budget—and not having to drill into the concrete meant a minimal disruption to the Quartermaster’s work.
With the high-density system, the quartermaster police storage was compacted into a smaller space, but the most important benefit was the improvement in the security of the supplies. The department assigned user groups, each with a designated PIN, and organized gear into aisles. One aisle stored riot gear, and the Watch Commander was the only one with that four-digit code. Another aisle was for general supplies, which gave a few of the sergeant’s access in case a duty belt or holster was needed after hours. One aisle of the mobile system was specifically for badges and Tazer cartridges, for which only the department’s Quartermaster had access.
The combination of the locked room and locked mobile system met the security requirements the Aurora Police Department was seeking. Thanks to a centralized location and organized police storage, gear is tracked and safe—contributing to the overall mission of keeping Aurora safe.