FRESNO, California - Fresno Police's northwest policing district has a new home. The new substation, right by Shaw and Marks avenues, is 40-percent bigger than the old office. Police in the district are hoping the northwest community will take advantage of the new space.
Laura Tulanian first moved to northwest Fresno from the Bay Area back in 1975 and remembers when police presence wasn't that needed. These days, however, is a different story.
"There's a lot of speeding, there's a lot of needles in the bushes," Tulanian said. "There's a lot of stuff infiltrating this way."
She's one of the many relieved to hear the area of town is getting its own substation. The new building is more than 10,000 square feet and is a move from the building on Dakota and Hughes avenues.
Northwest commander Burke Farrah said the move brings his officers into the district they serve. Since the old building was in the central policing district.
"To be here and centrally located allows us to get to our Pinedale neighborhood faster, the Fig Garden Loop faster, west of Highway 99 -- all areas that we serve," he said.
The new building will be equipped with the latest technology and have expanded briefing and conference rooms. To get more community groups involved with police, police have invited them to use the space.
Police know the difference increased presence and community involvement can make. At the substation's ribbon cutting, Police Chief Jerry Dyer said as of Wednesday, shootings in the city are down 41.8-percent year-to-date. In the fall, police added two satellite offices by Fresno State and the Tower District to increase presence and, hopefully, decrease crime.
Tulanian is ready to see that change happen in her neighborhood, with this new substation.
"It's a nice part of town. It's time we clean it back up and we get it back," she said.
Down the line, the goal is to get enough staffing so someone could be stationed at the front of the building. That way northwest Fresnans could go in and report crimes in-person.