Substations: A Thing of the Past?

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January 26, 2007
Police substations in Richmond County, just how many are there and why are some closing their doors? It could have something to do with technology. News 12 is on your side with why deputies may be spending more time inside their cars rather than in substations throughout our area.

The signs may still be in place, but Richmond County hasn't operated a substation at Mount Zion for quite some time.

"I'm out here quite often and I very seldom see any cars over there and I really didn't know they was closed," said James Kelsey.

According to Major Richard Weaver, it closed because deputies didn't have enough privacy. This despite lots of calls here, including the murder of a female residents last year.

"Sometimes with the change of management, those kinds of things, we will sometimes not utilize them," Weaver said.

But while twenty-four substations are being utilized county-wide, deputies spend limited time inside of them. Some admit just ten to twenty minutes per shift.

"Some deputies just like to get out and stretch their legs. Um, maybe take a rest room break, that's probably the primary reason, taking a rest room break," one deputy said.

"Everything you really need is right there in the computer in the car," another deputy said.

Filing reports, looking up license information, even communicating with other deputies, it's time spent on the road rather than inside substations like this one at Kroger.

But Major Weaver insists there's no replacing the presence of a patrol car, a sight residents here say they miss seeing.

"All over, I'd like to see more deputies because when you do have their presence the crime rate does go down," Kelsey said.

"It's a deterrent. Just seeing that patrol car sitting there is a deterrent. It helps," Weaver said.

It looks as though the Mount Zion substation could be moving location. The city Parks and Recreation Department has offered to foot the bill for one to operate at its old McDuffie Road address inside a community center there. But those plans are not set in stone. Major Weaver does say however, he will consider it.