City officials considering adding fourth police district
To help with the increase of calls for service, city officials are considering adding a fourth police district to serve the downtown area and central Winston-Salem. The post City officials considering adding fourth police district appeared first on WS Chronicle.
To help with the increase of calls for service, city officials are considering adding a fourth police district to serve the downtown area and central Winston-Salem.
Currently there are three police districts and offices located throughout the city. The District 1 office is located at 7836 North Point Blvd., the District 2 office is located at 1539 Waughtown St., and the District 3 office is located at 2393 Winterhaven Lane. The proposed District 4 office will be housed at the Public Safety Center located on Cherry St. and it will cover downtown as well as West End, West Salem, Happy Hill, Washington Park, and portions of District 1 and 3.
Chief William Penn said the Winston-Salem Police Department (WSPD) is committed to finding ways to make the city and its citizens safer and the fourth police district is one way of doing that. “The police department is committed to finding new and innovative ways to improve service delivery to our community,” Penn said.
While giving a presentation to members of the Public Safety Committee, Assistant Chief Katie Allen said over the past 10 years downtown and central Winston-Salem have received nearly 31,000 calls for service, while other districts received over 60,000 calls over that same time period.
“This is what I call the small but mighty district,” Allen said. “It’s very busy but it’s a lot smaller in size and officers are seeing a huge increase in calls.”
Allen also mentioned that adding a fourth district will provide more consistency and familiarity for citizens, while also improving response time. District 4 will also provide much needed resources to the homeless population near downtown, such as the BEAR team and the Continuum of Care team. Samaritan Ministries, Bethesda Center, Salvation Army, and the Rescue Mission will all be part of District 4.
“Seeing the same officers every single day provides that familiarity, allows us to interact with folks and make sure we know the customers that were serving,” Allen said.
Councilmember Barbara Burke, who represents the Northeast Ward, said she would like to see the coverage area expanded to cover neighborhoods in the East and Northeast. Burke said she’s been asking for a substation in her ward where violent crimes have been on the rise.
“When we look at this map, I would love to see it extended east of 52 and not stop at Northwest Blvd. where Patterson Ave. intersects,” Burke continued. “Go beyond that, go to at least the Coliseum area. And if you go to the Coliseum area, you would be picking up streets where we’ve had calls recently where shootings have occurred and homicides have occurred. I would just like this map to be a little more inclusive before we make any decision.”
No vote was taken during the meeting earlier this week. The Public Safety Committee will revisit adding the fourth district in January.
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