Police Show Water Damage Inside Police Headquarters


Columbus Police allowed cameras inside headquarters to see the damage left behind after several water pipes burst Wednesday.

On Wednesday, three pipe-bursts sent water pouring throughout the building, causing extensive damage.

Early Wednesday morning, officers and detectives raced in from home to retrieve and protect files and sensitive items from the downpour happening inside their building.

On Wednesday, 10TV showed you a few snapshots of the damage inside, but Friday was the first time police allowed our cameras inside.

Some of the worst damage was inside the Chief of Police's Office on the 8th floor.

A total of three pipes burst. One burst on the 9th floor where utilities are and the other two were in the restroom just off of the Chief's office.
Much of the building looks more like a construction site than an office building. The carpet is ripped up, ceiling tiles are missing, and drywall is ripped out.

The homicide unit also took a hard hit.

"They took a pretty good hit," said Police Division Spokesman Sgt. Rich Weiner, speaking of the homicide unit. "We might have a couple work stations in there, but for the most part we have kept all homicide detectives here in headquarters so they have access to case files they're able to interview prisoners, and that has not changed."

Police officials estimate about four dozen employees had to be relocated. They were moved to other areas within headquarters or out to the academy in West Columbus.

Despite all the water damage, police say they believe all important investigative materials and files were retrieved before being damaged or destroyed.
As for the issue of cost, the city has secured a "Mayor's Emergency Letter" which authorizes contracts of up to $750,000 for cleanup and repairs.

City officials tell 10TV they have not yet determined whether that amount will cover these damages.

The city is insured for this kind of situation, but says its policy has a $250,000 deductible.    
As for a timetable of when employees will be able to return to their offices, officials say they don't know.
Sgt. Weiner says his best guess is weeks, if not longer.