Police station idea returns

first_imgWEST COVINA – A proposal to put a police satellite station near the southern part of the city – a proposal that has been batted around for years – is making a resurgence. Running for re-election, Councilman Steve Herfert revived the idea, suggesting that a police base should be built next to the nearly-completed Big League Dreams sports complex, on the site of the former BKK landfill. Fellow council members also expressed support. Herfert predicted it would cost about $1.5 million. “Would it be a true substation, responding to calls throughout the city?” he said. “Would it be staffed around the clock, or during business hours only? Would officers working the south side of town work out of there?” City Manager Andrew Pasmant noted that while there has been some discussions about the idea, it was still at the preliminary stages and could go in any one of several locations near Big League Dreams. “We are looking at a couple of different areas, and we were primarily looking for a helipad,” Pasmant said. “There’s a half a dozen ways this thing can be done.” The city has no helipad for the helicopter it shares with other cities, meaning West Covina surveillance officers must drive to another city to hop on. Medivac helicopters must also make due with whatever large space they can clear off, Pasmant said. Councilman Roger Hernandez, who is also running for re-election, agreed that it sounded like a good idea, although he criticized the council for eliminating a City Hall annex not far from Big League Dreams. The annex provided general information, but no police services, officials said. “I’m happy that my colleague is wanting to bring that back,” Hernandez said. “One of the biggest complaints that we get from the southern region of town is about the response time from police officers.” However, Mayor Mike Touhey said a satellite station would be unlikely to affect police response times. “It would be more of a presence, with signage out there and with officer coming and going,” Touhey said. “A place where they can go back and write reports, with access to restrooms and phones. I don’t know if we can man it full time.” Big League Dreams’ grand-opening is scheduled Oct.27. The complex includes six baseball fields surrounded by small-scale replicas of famous stadiums for youth baseball leagues, as well as volleyball courts, an indoor soccer pavilion, a playground and family restaurants. Herfert said he expected the satellite station would go before the council after the sports complex opened. [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2730 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.“We could probably do it within a year,” he said. West Covina police Cmdr. Mark Dettor also supported the idea. “What we face is having the manpower to staff it,” he said. “That’s always been the challenge.” With 127 officers, the department is still down 13, Dettor said. A tough recruiting environment is affecting agencies nationwide, and even though the department was to get 70 applications in a recent effort, ultimately only one candidate qualified, Dettor said. Despite the shortage, Dettor emphasized, he was still interested, though he had questions. last_img

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