Arlington officials have expanded their search for a location for a police headquarters because the first choice, Arlington Hall Station, poses potential logistical problems for officers and has drawn opposition from residents near the mammoth Army compound.
Deputy County Manager Anton S. Gardner said yesterday that the county is considering five sites, including Arlington Hall, for a new building to house the bulk of the police department, now located at 2100 N. 15th St., beside the courthouse.
Gardner also said the county has scrapped a plan to relocate 200 of the police force's 350 full-time employes to temporary quarters.
The county wants to relocate the police to give them more room, to expand jail space in the building, and to free part of a parking lot where construction is to begin this summer on a high-rise residential-office-governmental complex.
Most of the 87-acre Arlington Hall compound, now used by an Army intelligence command, is to be transferred during the next several years to the State Department's Foreign Service Institute for a training facility.
The institute and the county are negotiating letting the county use some portions of the complex, on Rte. 50 between S. George Mason Drive and S. Glebe Road.
Gardner said the county still is considering the possibility of using the land for the police station and for recreational purposes.
He said the other sites under consideration for a new station are a parking lot on the east side of the courthouse; a parcel on Columbia Pike near Washington Boulevard; a car rental lot at N. 10th Street and Washington Boulevard, and a park near Wilson Boulevard and N. George Mason Drive.
One reason for the reconsideration, Gardner said, is that the Arlington Hall site is about three miles from the courthouse. Many police officers have to spend considerable time at the courthouse testifying in trials and consulting with prosecutors.
County residents who live near the compound also have complained that the department might bring unwanted noise and traffic, Gardner said. The Barcroft Civic Association has voted to urge that the county find another site for the station.