The Boone County Sheriff’s Department expects a new substation that opened Friday to cut response time in half in the northern part of the county.
Capt. Gary German said the North Substation will make officers assigned to the region more responsive to residents.
“It keeps us in the area,” German said, “so there’s obviously that sense of security.”
German is one of 15 to 17 officers who will use the substation regularly.
In the past, he said, officers would often have to stop at county fire stations to use the restroom or make calls.
However, they were required to return to the sheriff’s department headquarters in Columbia — a 25-minute drive from northern Boone County towns such as Sturgeon and Centralia — to complete reports. German said he will spend about half his work week at the new substation.
The initial plans for the substation, on Missouri 124 East, just off U.S. 63 near Hallsville, began under Sheriff Ted Boehm in 2003 and were developed to allow officers assigned to the north side of the county to have a place to work other than the main office.
“It keeps north district officers as close as possible to their district of obligation,” said Major Tom Reddin.
“It shortens response times and makes them be more available.”
There is a substation for the southern part of the county. Reddin said the substations are necessary because of Boone County’s size: 685 square miles.
Reddin said funding for the substation was included in the department’s 2004 and 2005 budgets.
Keith Schnarre, the Boone County presiding commissioner, said the substation is worthwhile because it helps keep sheriff’s deputies in their assigned districts, so they are always in the neighborhood.
“I think if it results in faster response times,” Schnarre said, “then it is cost-effective.”