COSTA MESA -- It may not look like much: a desk, a couple of phones and a
But such are the trappings of the police department's third substation,
this one on Royal Palm Avenue on the north side of town. Police officers
and volunteers stationed at the new location will share the building with
the Fire Department.
The substation was unofficially opened last week, but many people -- even
those inside the department -- were unaware another post had been
"Some of our guys are just learning about it," said Steven Labbit, an
officer who will be working at the substation.
Department brass is banking that the community will respond favorably to
the added visible presence in their neighborhoods. Police said residents
have been pleased with the substations on the West Side and South Coast
Plaza, although both were established for different reasons.
On the West Side, police wanted to have a better connection with the
Latino population and converted a building into a law enforcement hub on
Police, realizing that South Coast Plaza was one of the busiest shopping
centers in the nation, decided to place three full-time officers there to
The newest substation will save residents a trip to City Hall, where the
department's main headquarters is located. At the new substation,
residents can be fingerprinted, submit a police report or learn more
about community-oriented programs sponsored by the department.
"It makes it more convenient for the public," said Lt. Tom Winter, who
will oversee the substation's activity. "Now we are able to cover the
city's entire geographic area."
The cost will be relatively minimal, Winter said. Since the substation
will be manned by volunteers and existing officers, the only added costs
will be for equipment.
"It's something that will make the taxpayers happy," Winter said.
A date has not yet been selected for an official opening, but city
officials are pleased the police department has added another location.
"It adds a visual presence in that part of town," said Mayor Gary
Monahan. "It's important for the community and police department to
interact. The more the department does, the better the relationship with
The office is at 2803 Royal Palm Avenue. The substation's phone number is