Macomb Township Fire Chief Robert Phillips and Macomb County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Steve Briney. The Joseph E. Koss Public Safety Building in Macomb Township opened in September.

Macomb Township Fire Chief Robert Phillips and Macomb County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Steve Briney. The Joseph E. Koss Public Safety Building in Macomb Township opened in September.

Photo by Alex Szwarc

Public safety building nears completion in Macomb Township

By: Alex Szwarc | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published September 8, 2021


MACOMB TOWNSHIP — As of late-August, finishing touches were being applied to the 37,896-square-foot Joseph E. Koss Public Safety Building in Macomb Township.

It is located on the north side of 23 Mile Road, east of Romeo Plank Road. The building is connected to fire station No. 1. 

Macomb Township Fire Chief Robert Phillips said the hope was to have occupancy of the building the week of Aug. 30 for folks to begin working.

Summer construction at the site included final electrical, plumbing and mechanical work.

Macomb County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Steve Briney said Macomb Township has always been very good to the Sheriff’s Office.

“We worked with our people and the fire chief to design a building we thought would benefit Macomb Township residents,” he said. “We have everything the Sheriff’s Office would ever need here.”

Briney oversees all patrol for the Sheriff’s Office, including Macomb Township.

The captain said that 32 Sheriff’s Office personnel will work in the building. The fire department will have 23 workers at the building. Department personnel that will operate from the building include Phillips, fire inspectors, captains, lieutenants, sergeants and firefighters.

The Sheriff’s Office had been operating from a substation near the building for almost two years, but Briney said they have overgrown that station and are ready for a larger facility.

One feature of the building from the Sheriff’s Office perspective is an enclosed garage.

“Vehicles will be able to park inside and last a lot longer,” Briney said.

The 8,200-square-foot garage is located directly north of the apparatus bays and was completed earlier this summer. It includes space for 14 Sheriff’s Office vehicles.

Regarding response time from the new building, Briney said it will be improved, citing an example where previously, on a snowy day, officers may be in the facility, typing a report and cleaning their cars off to respond. Now, personnel will jump in a car that’s in a garage and respond.

“It helps them a lot,” Briney said when asked what a new building does for the morale of Sheriff’s Office employees. “Macomb Township is a very busy substation compared to many of our other substations. Having a nice facility to work out of encourages officers to come in and use the workout facility, have nice office spaces, and I think it will be better response time.”

The building includes locker rooms for men and women, offices for fire and Sheriff’s Office personnel, dorm rooms, report writing rooms, interview rooms, a conference room, and a workout area.    

It is divided by fire operations toward the front of the building, with Sheriff’s Office work toward the back.

Briney said that, with a pair of interview and report writing rooms, citizens now can come to the building and make complaints in a convenient place, as opposed to making a trip to the Sheriff’s Office location on Elizabeth Road in Mount Clemens.

“Being close to the fire department, there’s many events we coordinate together, and having briefing rooms in the same building is much better,” he said.

The building is named after Joseph Koss, the late Macomb Township Fire chief.

The two-story administrative portion connects the apparatus bays to the Sheriff’s Office garage. 

Public access to the offices will be on the first floor off 23 Mile Road. The second floor will house the department’s administration team.

In February 2020, the new fire station No. 1 opened after the old station, which had been used since 1952, was demolished.

Phillips said it was a smooth transition, although having firefighters sleeping in a construction trailer was less than ideal.

He noted that the project came in under budget, with the plan for money to be returned to the township off the original contract.

A ribbon cutting ceremony is planned at the building Sept. 8.