July has started off hotter-than-normal across Southern Colorado. And Pueblo flirted with a record of days over 100 degrees.
Now, try to imagine working in a building with faulty air conditioning, or none at all. That's what's happening at Pueblo's Police headquarters. The officers and detectives are working in sweltering conditions.
The police building in Pueblo was built in 1949. The chief says it's outdated. The offices are cold in the winter and hot in the summer. Evidence bags cover windows to keep out the sun and fans are blowing non-stop. The employees are also turning off the lights to keep it cool. That means—working in the dark. And it's not always easy to concentrate.
There's no central air conditioning, and window units are constantly breaking down. The hallways, lobbies, and bathrooms are especially hot.
Police Chief Jim Billings says the heat is causing more than just discomfort---It's disrupting operations. "In the short term, we have to grin and bear it. In the long term, we need a new police building."
It will cost about $15 million to build a new police headquarters. Voters will decide on that issue in November's election.