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EPPD union president warns of unsafe parking garage at headquarters

EPPD parking garage

The parking garage at El Paso police headquarters is not safe, according to El Paso Police Department union president Ron Martin.

A few years ago, a fire truck fell through the top level of the garage, according to Martin.

“Worst case scenario, you have a vehicle fall off the upper deck of the parking garage, lands on somebody or kills somebody underneath,” Martin said.

It’s a problem that needs to be addressed.

“A vehicle falling through our structure should have been a red flag. You need to fix it and you need to fix it now,” Martin said.

Scott Sensanbaugher, with the city’s capital improvement department said the issues are being looked at but the garage needs to remain in use.

A 2016 study by an independent contractor found the garage needs repairs that would cost about $2 million dollars.

“While decisions are being made, looked at, analyzed, including how to pay for it, we are going to make sure that the garage still remains in use and is safe to use,” Sensanbaugher said.

Some people KFOX14 spoke to think the safety of El Paso police officers should be priority.

“We need to fund the people that protect us and we need to protect them,” Rusty Borughton of Central El Paso said.

“It wouldn’t be just a safety issue for them, it’s a public safety issue,” Alexander Hernandez said.

The city’s upcoming budget includes a proposed amount for the garage repairs.

The city is also doing routine checkups and maintenance on the foundation and trying to limit the size and weight of the vehicles to limit potential damage.

In the meantime, Martin is urging people to proceed with caution.

“Just be careful parking in that structure. If you can avoid it, avoid it.”

The city sent a statement that reads:

This is a safety first issue. Our intention was always to look at the most safe and fiscally responsible option.

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