Costa Mesa opens third substation

Greg Risling

COSTA MESA -- It may not look like much: a desk, a couple of phones and a

computer.

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

created.

"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

18th Street.

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

curb shoplifting.

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

residents."

The office is at 2803 Royal Palm Avenue. The substation's phone number is

(714) 337-7520.

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