By: Erin Lisch
March 20, 2017
MADISON, Fla. (WCTV) -- The Madison Police Department is under a temporary shutdown and now working elsewhere because of potential health hazards inside.
The investigation into the 100-year-old building is showing signs of potential contaminates like mold, hydrogen sulfide, methane gas, e-coli, and coliform bacteria.
Making the move, a no-brainer to get the officers into a healthy workplace.
A 'Closed' sign on the doors of the Madison Police Department doesn't mean officers are off duty.
Last week, officers say a strong sewer-like odor could be smelled throughout the building. The odor even making people sick with headaches.
"Indescribable, you could tell it just wasn’t right."
Regulatory Compliance Services Inc. from Jacksonville, checking the building and suggested workers evacuate. Now, officers are stationed right across the street at City Hall.
The commission meeting room now changed into home base for police, City Hall Manager Tim Bennett said, "Usually we have 5 commissioners sitting up there now we have our police officers, but we're still in good hands."
Shifting around City Hall, the police chief and captain are now working in the clerk’s office.
When asked about the new arrangements, Madison Police Chief Reggie Alexander said, "A little different but we've always worked closely together but I can say we are closely together now."
"We’re used to working together since were right across the street from each other but we'll work our way through this," said Bennett.
Environmental scientists reporting visible mold growth, and mold particles in the air conditioning system, however more tests are underway.
"It’s still under investigation but we feel that fairly certain that it is mold," said Bennett.
If going into the actual station, officers must wear masks and leave within 15 minutes.
"We grab what we need, were in were out. That's how we're keeping up with the paperwork and things that we need to follow up on," said Chief Alexander.
Officials are expecting to be using the temporary headquarters for at least a month.
The test results are expected this week. Once those are confirmed, they'll send officers to Valdosta for a medical evaluation.