The City broke ground for the East Lubbock Police Substation Friday, the first of three set to be throughout the city.
The East Lubbock Police Substation will be located on East 19th and MLK.
It is the first step in the city's community-policing plans. The purpose of these substations is to increase community-oriented policing, allowing officers to be directly in neighborhoods they serve.
"There's going to be a group of officers that are assigned to this patrol division station, that are assigned to this neighborhood," Lubbock Police Chief Floyd Mitchell said. "It puts them inside the neighborhood and puts them closer to the people that they serve, and it gives the people in the community a place where they can come, and they don't have to go all the way downtown when they need police services."
The substation will also have a community room for neighborhood watch meetings and other police-led community events, Chief Mitchell said. There will also be educational classes, where citizens can learn how to better protect themselves and their homes.
Residents Lee and Teresa Hernandez said they the increased police presence will help cut down on crime.
"We think it's going to be a safer community, especially in this side of town with everything that's going on," Lee said. "Hopefully, it will slow everything down and get better."
Kris Ann Blodgett, principal of O.L. Slaton Middle School, said it is an "exciting" step for the future.
"They're one of us, and they're here to protect us and to help us, and to help keep us safe, and it takes all of us working together to do that," Blodgett said.
Councilwoman Shelia Patterson Harris said this community policing will also help build more trust between police and citizens.
"It's more than just having an officer show up, it's building a relationship with that officer," Harris said. "It's the young people seeing that officer as being more than just somebody in a uniform. It's being able to build a relationship with them."
The city hopes to open this substation within the next 18 months, Mitchell said. Two other sites will break ground in the next six months, one at Erskine and Frankford, and the other at 140th and Indiana.