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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Police substation opens in Somerville

Attempting to increase the accessibility of local police, the City of Somerville unveiled a new police station in East Somerville on Monday and will soon open a second near Tufts.

State Sen. Anthony Galluccio, Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone, Chief of Police Anthony Holloway and members of the Somerville community celebrated the opening of the East Somerville Police Substation on Monday.

"The opening of the East Somerville Substation is an important day for our police department and the entire East Somerville community. This substation will allow residents to bring their questions and concerns to our police officers so that they can be addressed before they become problems," Curtatone said in press release.

Ward 1 Alderman William Roche said he expects the station to be a valuable force in the community. "This substation will have a positive impact on our neighborhood for years to come," Roche said in a press release.

The city chose to establish stations at both ends of Somerville in order to make the police force more available to residents and to strengthen relationships between the community and officers, according to Somerville Public Information Officer Jaclyn Rossetti.

The Somerville Police Advisory Group recommended creating a substation in Teele Square in 2005. Mayor Curtatone had formed the advisory group the year before to review police policies, staffing and operations.

Curtatone said the forthcoming station in Teele Square, blocks away from Tufts' campus, will satisfy residents and make the region safer.

"The opening of a substation in West Somerville will result in stronger relationships between our officers and the residents they serve, which will lead directly to increased community participation and better results," Mayor Curtatone said in a December 2007 statement.

The Teele Square substation will house officers who regularly patrol the surrounding area. Seven neighborhood police officers will be assigned to each ward.

Having officers consistently patrol the same area makes for more effective policing, Holloway said in a December 2007 press release announcing the creation of the two substations. "When an officer patrols the same area every day, he or she gets to know the people in that neighborhood. It allows the police and the community to work together to identify problems and solutions. The resulting relationships will serve to strengthen our community," Holloway said.

The increased interaction between officers and the community is also meant to dispel the "police are bad" stereotype, Rossetti told the Daily. "The objective is to make it known that it's a positive relationship so people feel comfortable going to neighborhood police officers," she said.

Police Capts. Michael Cabral and Paul Upton were promoted to deputy chiefs beginning Sept. 28 as a result of the creation of the two substations.

Cabral, the deputy chief of operations, now oversees the commanders of the neighborhood substations, as well as captains, lieutenants and patrolmen. Upton, deputy chief of support services, is now in charge of the police department's investigations, civilian positions and professional standards and development.