Press "Enter" to skip to content

San Mateo Converts Old Firehouse to Alternate Housing for Police Officers

The city of San Mateo thinks it may have found the solution to keep its officers from leaving the force because of the high cost of living. It converted an old firehouse to a police substation, which still has all the amenities of a firehouse, including beds.

The old firehouse has 12 beds, bunk beds that look like these. Officers said the idea has changed the way they show up to work, the way they approach their job.

Ryan Alba sometimes writes his reports, at a department substation in San Mateo. This is also where he eats, where he sleeps and where he showers.

“I use it throughout all my shifts. So, I work four days a week. I stay here all three nights and go home on the last day,” he said.

Alba’s home is in Hollister, over 2 hours from San Mateo with traffic. It’s where officer Alba like many officers throughout the Bay Area could afford to buy a house.

The department said converting the old firehouse into barracks is paying off since 70 % of it officers live outside the area.

Local rent tracker Zemper reports that rent on the Peninsula for a one-bedroom apartment can top $3,000.

“It helps with our recruitment effort, our retention effort, and if there is a situation, our officers are allowed to respond to calls for service,” said

Officers sign up for the nights or the shifts they need. The department said there is a $5 per night fee, so it can abide by the tax code.

For Alba, it means not showing up for his shift exhausted after a long commute, and perhaps a 15-hour shift the night before.

“It allows us to work longer hours without the stress of commuting. So, extremely grateful for the opportunity that they gave us to have this station here,” he said.

The department said that everybody wins.

“Having the officers here, maybe doing report writing or getting refreshed for their next shift, it’s a great opportunity for the community and for our officers,” said Sgt. Michael Haobsch with San Mateo County Police Department.

Source: NBC Bay Area

Be First to Comment

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    %d bloggers like this: