Salisbury Eyes New Police Substation

SALISBURY — Residents on Decatur Avenue should be able to look forward to an increased police presence in the area in the near future, as the Salisbury Police Department (SPD) is requesting a new substation in the area and the City Council is showing strong initial support.
“There’s a call for heavy police presence because of the largely juvenile type problem,” Police Chief Barbara Duncan told the City Council this week. “During the summer it was essentially a game of chicken between the neighborhood kids and the cars, the residents in the area, literally out in the middle of the street.”
A new substation could go a long way in fighting those problems, Duncan informed the council. The SPD hopes to enter into a three-year memorandum of understanding with the Wicomico Housing Authority (WHA) to use the property at 511 Decatur Avenue.
“We anticipate, having been through that property a couple of times, that we will have to expend about $10,000 to bring it up to usable condition,” said Duncan. “We feel that this is going to be a benefit for the city as well as the community. Certainly there is a call for us to have a greater and more consistent presence in that neighborhood.”
Besides serving as a base for police patrols, the property could be a community meeting point and the SPD would like to add a large classroom to the space.
“We want to knock down a couple of walls and we want to setup a large meeting space, large classroom area to use for various city departments. We definitely have cause to be in that neighborhood,” said the chief.
Mayor Jim Ireton chimed in at that point and told the council that he believes the property could be an excellent place for them to hold meetings with the community
“This is an opportune, ideal place for that to happen,” he said.
Councilman Tim Spies pitched some ideas about making the property a better focal point for the neighborhood.
“The grounds could be for a community garden or could go on for a lot of things,” he said, also requesting that a bike rack be installed.
After learning that the substation would not be staffed every day, Council President Jake Day proposed putting a callbox outside of the building. Duncan said that the SPD had put thought into that and has also looked into having some kind of video surveillance. With everything combined, she continued, the SPD wants to make a significant and deserved enhancement to the neighborhood.