COLUMBIA — In order to decrease response times, the Columbia Police Department hopes to lease a townhouse in Indian Hills and use it as a substation.
The substation would be located at 4901 Aztec Blvd. in the Wynwood Townhouses, and would cost $575 for the initial deposit and an additional $300 every month, according to a staff report to the Columbia City Council. This would be Columbia’s first substation in a townhouse and sixth overall in the city.
While the majority of the department's resources are downtown, the officers who would be stationed in Indian Hills would have easier access to northeast Columbia.
The substation will be up for a vote at the City Council's June 6 meeting.* If the council eventually approves it, the department plans to start leasing this summer. The substation will cost $1,775 in 2016, and if renewed it will cost $3,600 each year afterward, according to the staff report.
Karl Skala, who represents the Third Ward on Columbia's City Council, pushed for the addition of a substation after hearing about the plans for a multi-million dollar police station slated for northern Columbia. Skala wanted to make sure eastern Columbia would also have easy access to police officers.
"It should provide us with quicker response times in problem areas such as Demaret Drive and Quail Drive," Skala said.
"It will also provide the police officers with a place to meet community members and do their reports and have more of a presence in the neighborhood," he said.
Many residents were positive about the plan. Ryan Krankowski, who lives in the Wynwood Townhouses, said the substation would only improve an already positive relationship between the police and his community.
"There is a reputation here that (the neighborhood) is a little bit rougher," he said. "I don't always necessarily see that, but I think it would be welcome."
Indian Hills resident Nick Simmons also thought it would help.
"More is always better," he said. "I think it would help the community and help the cops be more aware of the surroundings, and get out to mingle with the people."
Denise Tucker has lived in Indian Hills for 30 years. "It would be a blessing to be so close," she said. "If I can't get to the phone then I can holler."
After the addition of the northeast substation, the City Council is also hoping to eventually establish another substation in southwest Columbia.
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