Residents share thoughts on new West End police substation

Mae Carroll grew up in Harlem where it was routine to see a police substation in her neighborhood. In fact, she believes in the good the presence of one can generate.

Carroll said she supports a decision by Salisbury Police Chief Rory Collins to open a substation in the troubled West End.

Collins made the announcement Tuesday that his department plans to open the substation in August. An officer will be staffed at the substation two days a week. But Collins said the substation won't take away the regular police patrols already in place.

The substation, open two hours each Tuesday and Thursday, will be in Hall's Gym, 1400 W. Bank St. It will open Aug. 12.

The substation will use set hours for community members to speak with an officer face-to-face about their concerns.

“If we have a substation it could facilitate communication. I would like to commend Chief Rory Collins in his endeavor,” Carroll said.

Carroll, who is a member of West End Pride, a community group, said she was one of those people who suggested a substation. She said she recommended a substation be established in one of the properties owned by Livingstone College.

“He's making an effort to make these suggestions come to fruition,” Carroll said of Collins.

Carroll said she disagrees with those who oppose the substation because they feel residents will be afraid of going into the gym where they could be “seen as a snitch.”

“There are so many activities there how would anyone know you are going to talk to the police?” she said.

Carroll said some residents may say there was a substation in the West End community and it didn't work.

“Let's look at the why it didn't work and improve it,” she said.

Judy McDaniel said she thinks the substation is a good idea if coupled with visible police patrols.

“They can be productive. Having some police presence is good,” she said.

“They need to get out in the community and meet people,” McDaniel said of police.

McDaniels, who attended a community meeting at Miller Recreation Center, located next door to Hall's Gym, said she believes programs and activities will help deter and reduce crime in the West End.

She said she used to work at Hall's Gym and in days gone by there were lots of activities for the children.

Tony Hillian said if used the right way, a substation could be a positive thing. He sees it as a way to let youth get to know the officers and to know police can be their friend.

Henrietta Robinson, who also attended the community meeting, said the substation is a good place to start.

She hopes it will help open the door for police to be not just in the community, but apart of the community.

Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.

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