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RPD headquarters workers back at work after AC outage

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Posted at 1:11 PM, Jun 02, 2012
and last updated 2012-06-02 13:11:27-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – Many of the people who work at Richmond's police headquarters returned to work Friday for the first time since Tuesday.

Some officers and other employees were sent home -- and still got paid -- for much of the week after major problems with the building’s air conditioning system.

CBS 6 News Senior Reporter Wayne Covil reported that the problem started last week when some folks noticed the building was not cooling off. When staffers returned after Monday's holiday, the situation had worsened.

Reports showed that some areas inside the police headquarters had reached 97 degrees, since the AC system faltered. City crews decided to bring in a contractor who worked to repair the damage, but until it was able to be fixed, the temperature inside continued to soar.

As a result, Richmond Police Chief Bryan Norwood made an executive decision to send much of the staff home.

"Most of the sensitive work handled by our civilian employees cannot be duplicated at any other location,” wrote Norwood in a statement. “I had a very strong health concern for those employees because the building was extremely hot this week.  I chose to have those employee's telecommute if possible out of concern for their own safety and well being."

The headquarters’ front desk staff did remain on the job and Norwood said the situation did not affect calls for service or response time.