When Ed Carpenter started work in the maintenance department at the Warwick Police Station, he saw room for improvements. A retired military veteran who thrives on order and discipline, Carpenter found the kitchen inadequate, especially if it was needed in emergency situations.
“We can’t stay at the status quo, we need to fix this,” he said.
Living up to his last name, Carpenter has been using his spare time updating the small, tucked away kitchen off the community room. He’s doing the electrical and pumping work and will follow through with the painting and finish work. Nearly every new addition, from the cabinets to the countertops to the two refrigerators, and the whiteboard has come via donations. Mike Penta and Danny Hall have been the two biggest supporters of the project, with donations helping to cover the cost of renovation, which Carpenter estimates would be around $1,500 otherwise.
“All of these guys are pitching in,” he said. “It’s tremendous to see people coming forward and donating.”
While a lot of progress has been made, the timing of Hurricane Sandy reiterates the importance of getting this type of project finished sooner rather than later.
“I just wish we had one more week to finish,” Carpenter said Monday, half jokingly, with the storm closing in quickly.
The renovation could likely extend beyond the kitchen to the surrounding community room, which, as of now, is used primarily for training courses and neighborhood meetings. Carpenter feels that it would be the perfect place to set up cots in place of the desks that are currently there for police officers to spend the night, or just catch up on some rest during shift changes if they are unable to go anywhere else due to emergency situations. He again cites donations as the biggest factor in determining whether or not the change will occur.
When all is said and done, the new kitchen is expected to be a dramatic upgrade from “the dump” that it used to be, as Carpenter put it. The site itself is not big, but its purpose will far exceed its size. Even more, it is a symbol of community investment on the part of donators and determination on the part of a man who saw the need for it.