PHILADELPHIA, PA – The locker room at a local police station has officers fearing for their health.
We’re talking about mold, and lots of it, inside the lockers at Philadephia’s 39th District, Fox 29’s Jeff Cole reports.
The 39th Police District building is a hulking stone symbol of a time long past. Built in 1915, its age is showing.
“Dirt, mold – you name it, rodents, bugs,” said Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police president John McNesby.
Pictures of a moldy uniform and equipment bag were shot by a cop angry over conditions and sent to FOX 29.
It’s gotten so bad that the basement lockers have been abandoned forcing cops to live out of their cruisers.
The district’s captain says it’s the unknown that’s the problem.
“Any level of mold is a problem, and the city’s doing the best they can, at this point, to get it under control and to remove it,” Capt. Stephen Glenn said.
At the 39th District on Tuesday, area residents streamed in and out of the lobby, some to use the ATM inside. They seemed stunned to hear of the mold.
City inspectors have found water enters the basement of the 39th through the walls, the drain and then backs up. The heat of the summer and the moisture provide a perfect environment for the mold to grow.
“These are police officers. They’re expected to go in and live and work in these conditions and then go home at night and possibly take it home to their families,” McNesby said.
The 39th is not the only district with a mold problem. A city source told us at least four other districts have the very same issue. Repair work has started on the drain at the 39th, and we were told Tuesday that a city inspector advised anyone in a police uniform dealing with mold to wear a respirator, Cole reported.