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|Residents want council to spend stimulus money on substation|
Some residents in south Monroe are concerned about what they say has been an increase in crime in their neighborhood and they called on the Monroe City Council to establish a police substation there to do something about it.
Kevin Johnson lobbied the city council to address the issue on behalf of residents who live in the King Oaks and Robinson Place area.
Johnson was a candidate for the District 5 city council seat in April, which councilman Eddie Clark won.
"One of the issues during that campaign was substations," Johnson said. "There was a substation in the King Oaks/Robinson Place area, but it's not operational anymore."
He suggested the city council consider using some of the $1 million in federal stimulus money the police department recently received to reopen that substation.
"The funding from the Community Oriented Policing Services Program provided that money to the police department to pay for nine new officers for three years," he said.
The federal program pays for all salaries and benefits of the nine officers for the next three years. Afterward, the city would pay the salaries and benefits of those officers. The officers must be retained for at least one year after the grant expires.
"I don't know how much an entry level police officer makes, but I'm guessing it's around $25,000," Johnson said. "Multiply that times nine and it's $225,000. So, that's still a lot of money left from that grant. I don't know if it's been allocated for something else, but I don't see why the police department couldn't earmark some money for an officer at the substation.
Johnson asked the city council if it would consider placing one officer at the substation to cover the King Oaks, Robinson Place and Parkview Apartments area.
"There is a lot of crime in that area," Johnson said.
Stacy Drive is known to be a high drug-trafficking area, he said.
"We have break-ins, car-jackings, and one gentleman was even robbed in his yard this year," Johnson said. "A (police) presence would help out."
Maj. Tom Torregrossa, head of the police department's patrol bureau, said he would work with residents to address their concerns.