On Tuesday, the Brentwood City Council provided feedback on initial concepts to address safety and security at the parking garage in downtown Brentwood.
The council action Tuesday now allows staff to begin seeking cost estimates and moving forward with its recommendations as presented Tuesday.
According to Brentwood Police Chief Tim Herbert, he shared with the council on Tuesday that since October 18, 2021, the police department and school resource officer to actively patrol parking garage during school hours –where they will return kids to class.
Herbert shared that from March 1, 2022 to August 22, 2023 (a 17-month time period) that they had 1,007 calls for service and 662 generated calls. 345 were generated by the public or officers outside of the department generated calls.
Breakdown of Calls
- Juvenile complaint & loitering – 71 (38% during school hours)
- Reckless Driving, traffic stops & suspicious vehicle stops – 133
- Suspicious person – 13
- All other calls – 128
- Total calls for service – 345
Herbert shared the average call for service per month was 20 from citizens and officers and 59 calls for service per month when you add in the department generated calls (1007)
“Prior to the 2018 event, we were average 17-18 calls for service a month to the parking garage,” said Herbert. “Since that 2018 event, we have had no other issues or complaints from staff of items being thrown towards the school during school hours. Those complains that were coming in from staff have stopped.”
The total project budget is $450,000 which was adopted in the 2023/24 – 2027/28 Capital Improvement Budget and will fit within the budget — none of this money has been spent yet.
Staff has evaluated various options that will limit vehicular access to the garage during off hours and times when the structure is not needed for downtown or community events. The garage is currently signed as closed during the hours of 10:00 p.m. – 5:00 a.m., Sunday through Thursday, and from 12:00 a.m. – 5:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Staff has identified multiple infrastructure to be installed within the project to reinforce closure times.
Entry Barrier Gate – a physical barrier preventing entry to the garage with posted hours. It would remain open during the day, and closed during off hours—with it being able to open for emergency vehicles or those with a bar code, key fob or other means. The do have the option to keep the gate open longer for special events or case-by-case basis.
Exit Alligator Teeth – Alligator teeth will be installed at the garage exit to prevent vehicles from bypassing the entry barrier gate to enter the garage.
Parking Space County System & Display – A customizable message sign will be placed at the garage entrance alerting users of the number of the spaces available within the garage, and a system will be installed to track the number of vehicles entering and existing the garage in real-time. This system will allow the public to recognize whether the parking garage is full prior to entering.
- On February 22, 2022, by Resolution No. 2022-25, the City Council adopted the draft Strategic Plan FY 2022/23 – FY 2023/24. The Strategic Plan identified Focus Area 1: Public Works, Goal 1e: Improve safety in Parking Garage.
- On June 28, 2022, by Resolution No. 2022-85, the City Council adopted the City’s 2022/23 – 2026/27 CIP, which includes the Project.
- On February 14, 2023, by Resolution 2023-18, the City Council approved and adopted the Revised City of Brentwood Strategic Plan FY 2022/23 – FY 2023/24.
- On June 13, 2023, by Resolution No. 2023-80, the City Council adopted the City’s 2023/24 – 2027/28 CIP, which includes the Project.
Council Provided Feedback
Vice Mayor Susannah Meyer asked about the budget and if the sign letting people know the garage is full was a “must have” or a “want” since they are watching the budget.
Chief Herbert shared based on number of events and the parking lot being full, it was a “quality of life” perspective it gets busy downtown – such as days with multiple events—it leads to less frustration having the form of sign is important to let people know the garage is full.
The council accepted and updated the Parking Garage Security & Safety Enhancements Project, while directing staff to be mindful of the cost of the dynamic signage. Staff was directed to also look at variables for different floors.
Staff will now move forward with the projects, which some, do to cost, will come back to the council for approval.
This comes after a November 2021 request by staff at Liberty High School requesting the city look into safety improvements at the parking garage after multiple incidents had been occurring—from loitering, theft, vandalism, people have sex in cars, drugs and even an air-soft gun incident were shared. At that meeting, there were 11-emailed public comments from staff. Another written comment stated students have attempted/contemplated suicide from the top story only to be talked off the ledge by school staff.
During that November meeting, Councilmember Susannah Meyer requested the city begin looking at creating a list of options to address concerns by teachers, students and staff of Liberty High School regarding the parking structure.
Recent Police Calls
Staff Report — click here