With the cut of a ribbon, the new downtown police substation officially opened on Chapel Street in New Haven on Wednesday.
The substation, which was moved from City Hall, will house the New Haven officers assigned to the downtown beat, as well as Yale officers and the downtown ambassadors from the Town Green Special Services District.
The substation will be called the Downtown Community Alliance.
“Working more closely with the police, both the Yale police, as well as the New Haven Police Department, really allows our program to come to the next level and to provide better service for downtown New Haven,” said Winfield Davis, executive director of the Town Green Special Services District.
It also gives police more visibility and enhances the community policing efforts that are already underway in the area.
“We wanted a storefront that looked like a shop, that you could market its presence," said New Haven Police Chief Dean Esserman. "We have Sgt. Means who's the district manager here, whose office is right on the window, so she can look out and they can look at her. I think that's a pretty good advertisement for the New Haven Police."
Business owners, especially on lower Chapel Street, said they're happy about the move. They've been working with police to increase officer presence in the area in an effort to prevent crimes that hinder their businesses and to provide added security.
“Having the substation here is really an important, I think, move, to really bring safety back to the area, so they can go out, walk around and feel good about it,” said Robert Lang, co-owner of Arpaia Lang Jewelers.
The new substation comes at no cost to taxpayers. It is being funded by the Town Green Special Services District and the downtown business community.