Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Goleta gets first formal police station


With the standard snip of oversized scissors, Goleta leaders officially unveiled the young city’s first formal police station Wednesday morning at Camino Real Marketplace.
Years in the making, the substation is expected to improve police service to the western portions of the city while giving deputies a much-needed facility to look up information, write reports and wind down after their shift, Sheriff Bill Brown said.

“I think they have a nicer office than I have,” he said, before adding, “It’s a win-win situation. This is a shining example of community policing at its finest.”
Dubbed the Goleta Police Department – Marketplace Station, the facility features a full restroom with showers and lockers, a communications network including state and national database access, and a public information center.
Since Camino Real Marketplace opened in 1998, owner Mark Linehan has offered rent-free space to the County Sheriff’s Department, which contracts with Goleta to provide policing services.
Last year, noting the city’s longstanding goal to have a fully integrated police facility, Linehan decided to donate the space in perpetuity and pay for its custom build-out.
“It’s just another great day in Goleta,” Linehan said, adding that he is proud of the shopping center’s overall contributions to the community, which have totaled more than $1.1 million.
In addition to the donated space and construction costs — an estimated $250,000 — the marketplace is also funding a new community resource deputy position that will be based out of the facility, pouring in $500,000 during the next five years.
Mayor Michael Bennett praised the public-private partnership and generosity as examples of the strong relationships and synergy seen among those who call Goleta home.
“Once again, Goleta is blessed,” he said. “It’s a community that works.”
While sheriff’s officials plan to keep the station open to the public during normal business hours, deputies will be using the facility at all hours.
Lt. Chris Pappas, Goleta’s chief of police, said the new station will make a huge difference.
“It’s a great feeling for deputies who are working in the field 24/7 to have somewhere nearby they can go to access information they need to complete investigations,” he said. “…This is a very important milestone for the community.
As city staff and deputies took a peek inside the new building, DARE Officer and Sr. Deputy Bill Borneman spoke to a group of fourth-graders from nearby Ellwood School about the community programs that will be offered through the substation.
In addition to DARE, or Drug Abuse Resistance Education, the facility will house Project Lifesaver, Guardian Program and Neighborhood Watch programs, along with criminal abatement and crime prevention efforts.
Goleta Councilmember Roger Aceves, a former Santa Barbara police officer, echoed Bennett’s praise of community partnerships and lauded the quality of the new station.
“I know how important it is to have a nice place to work,” he said. “This is beautiful.”

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