Narbonne police station: the prefect "pleasantly surprised" during his visit to the renovated premises

Criticized for decades for its working and reception conditions sometimes deemed unworthy of a public service, the Narbonne police station is getting a facelift after more than a year of work and a budget of 1.2 million euros. A rehabilitation which should not make us forget the points of tension regarding the lack of space or staff.

It had become urgent to act because of his state sometimes close to insalubrity. After more than a year of renovation work on the police station, spread from early 2020 to summer 2021, the prefect of Aude, Thierry Bonnier and the sub-prefect of Narbonne, Rémi Recio were visiting this Friday, January 7 2022, to assess the result. The opportunity to see the extent of the change in the two buildings of 1,500 and 1,100 square meters where no less than 136 officials work. Starting with the reception, the complaints office, the post office, the armory or even new locker rooms in the basement instead of old cellars in beaten earth. Not to mention the arrival of brand new vehicles in recent weeks.

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Entirely renovated, secure and air-conditioned premises which should allow better working conditions for all staff as well as for welcoming the public. “We should find a little more comfortable working conditions, even if there is room for improvement knowing that we were starting from completely unsuitable premises.“, underlines the divisional commissioner Guillaume Carabin, who was able to count on the allocation of an envelope of 1.2 million euros for the whole of the realization. A big blow of clean for which it was nevertheless necessary to compete ingenuity in terms of ergonomics, due to a reduced surface area, a sometimes crying lack of space while no less than twelve police officers continue to share a post room of less than twenty square meters.

“We do not renovate a police station as we would renovate company offices”

The space is optimized at best but the room for maneuver is limited, it is the limit of the exercise “, admits the head of the national police, who however welcomes the speed with which the work was carried out given the Covid and the age of the buildings. “You don’t renovate a police station in the same way you would renovate company offices. There are conditions in terms of security, alarms, decent reception for those placed in police custody. You must now be able to access a shower, toilets, something to eat …

The new custody cell.

As for the Unsa Police union, Jean-Philippe Martinez, deputy departmental delegate, is generally satisfied with these advances. “We work in a little more decent conditions, we are not going to be choosy. On the other hand, we lost ten colleagues in the investigation, in the space of three years. Two new ones should arrive but we are still in great pain to be able to carry out all our missions.”

Present during the visit, the prefect of Aude for his part said “very pleasantly surprised“by the scope of the work carried out.”The reception conditions are completely satisfactory for our fellow citizens, even if about fifty square meters are missing for everything to be perfect.. “A situation followed by the Ministry of the Interior, especially as new staff should not be long in arriving.”We are in a complex phase with new surfaces to find. At this point, there is no fixed solution, we will all work on it together.”

Three questions to Guillaume Carabin, divisional commissioner of the Narbonne police station.

Is it important to have good working conditions to obtain results?

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From a purely technical point of view, it is essential. The tools that are made available to us are essential, especially with regard to the investigation where we need a computer park up to the task. Knowing that we have little room for maneuver, the provision of suitable tools is also one of the important managerial levers to motivate our staff, whether it be vehicles, IT, armament, equipment …

Will these renovations get us off to a good start?

Inevitably, there was a strong expressed staff weariness in recent years. Several plans had been announced and had not been implemented, hence the high expectations on this subject. Here again, this is doubly important because there is both the need to work in good conditions, but also this need for recognition inherent in all police officers.

What are the next steps ?

The national police are constantly adapting and reforming to find avenues for improvement. We will reorganize the investigation services thanks to the arrival of personnel in the next few days. The other step is to find room for improvement in terms of occupancy of premises to continue to improve our working conditions and perform on our activity indicators, i.e. our narcotics initiative activity. , presence on public roads, coordination with other services such as the municipal police … We also remain extremely vigilant on the issue of attacks on people, in particular intra-family violence, which is our top priority.

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