BEND, OR -- Bend Police plan to open a new downtown substation, later this year. It would be a place for officers to "Write reports, take a second to collect themselves, make phone calls, do follow-up investigations, possibly meet someone down there for an investigation or if someone has a concern," says Lt. Clint Burleigh, even get out of extreme weather, "The downtown police officers are walking around in 106-degree heat. We do allow them to wear shorts in downtown patrol, but they still have their vests on. I think everybody knows the heat just drains you."
Burleigh tells KBND News the new substation won’t be staffed 24-hours a day, so emergencies should still be reported to 911. But, he believes it will help the department better serve downtown businesses, residents and visitors, "Presence is very important in a lot of enforcement and crime deterrent." It's part of a citywide effort to improve safety and livability
in the downtown core.
The small office-space is on Oregon Avenue, on the ground floor of the parking garage, and includes a dedicated parking space. Until now, Bend Police substations have only been inside fire stations. "The buildings are owned by the fire department and the rural fire district. We were able to operate out of those; they’re a little bigger, they have some more rooms. But, as we’ve progressed," says Burleigh, "working with the community, working with the Downtown Bend Business Association, working with City Hall, this just became the right plan for us."
The new downtown substation still needs to be outfitted with IT infrastructure, so computers can connect with the department's network; it should open later this year.