WESTFIELD, Mass. (The Westfield News) – The police department eyes opening the downtown community police center next week.
The community police annex will be located on Main St. in Westfield, and is being constructed in space donated by George’s Jewelers. The police hope that the building and location will help to increase community awareness and involvement, while potentially curbing crime. The facility will be opening Monday, May 23, and will have a grand opening celebration scheduled within the next two weeks.
“We want to have a place where people can come and it’s not intimidating,” sergeant Eric Hall of the Westfield Police Department said about the building.
Hall said that people will be welcome to come into the building and get paperwork or to discuss situations with police. However, the downtown location will not have the capability to process or hold people, although police officers will be present during normal operating hours.
The operating hours will be 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.
In addition to traditional police availability and reports, Hall said that the location will provide added benefits for citizens.
“We are hoping to have other resources (at the downtown location), such as abuse counselors and social workers,” Hall said. These resources will provide citizens with information, and be available for meet and greets, as well as other events.
Hall said that the location also allows the police to have a central location for several events in the city. This provides them with ample access to the various needs of citizens, either if a police presence is needed or if there are complaints or questions.
According to Hall, the building will be staffed by citizen volunteers and interns. Hall anticipates that the interns will come from the criminal justice program and Westfield State University, and the citizens will be from the city itself.
Currently, they are accepting applications for volunteers through the summer, and can be found by emailing Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org