Wednesday marks the first day of a change for the Mobile Police Department.
The department now has four precincts instead of five.
But, the police chief said the consolidation actually means more protection for you.
SIGNS OF THE TIMES
The sign outside the building may still say Precinct 5.
But, the police precinct inside the city’s public safety complex on Airport Boulevard is actually Precinct 4.
Precinct 5 is being eliminated, and Precinct 4 is moving into the existing facility.
Police Chief James Barber outlined his money saving plan last week to the city council’s public safety committee.
Barber said, “We’re re-organizing is what we’re doing.”
You may think the police department dispatches officers the way the fire department dispatches firefighters, but Chief Barber said, “Unlike the fire department, the police department doesn’t dispatch from a precinct. We actually send officers into beats strategically throughout the city to respond to calls for service.”
Thus, one fewer precinct would mean fewer officers inside, and more on the street.
Barber said, “It is more important to us to have officers in beats in cars then to have them behind desks at a precinct.”
POLICE ON THE STREET
Police on the street can help target crime hot spots and help neighbors get involved in their communities.
Those were other topics the chief talked about at the committee meeting.
Richard Hasan with Maysville Community Watch heard the chief talk about neighborhood involvement, and said his group is already taking steps.
Hasan said, “We strategized on one of our blocks on how to take it back. And the citizens have to take back their blocks, so, he has the right idea.”
The chief believes the idea to consolidate precincts is also cost efficient.
The police department will receive about $6 million less under the amended budget approved by the city council.
So, numbers are changing in more than ways than one.
SEE THE NEW PRECINCT MAPS