The long arm of the law is just a bit longer in East Haven, as the police department opened a brand new substation today.
Officials on hand, including Police Chief Brent Larrabee, say the benefits start with better officer visibility and accessibility.
"It's not a community that lends itself to walking beats, but we think we can make that happen," Larrabee said.
The office is situated inside the East Farm Village housing complex at 65 Messina Drive, many of whose residents are seniors. Those we met say there's no downside to added police presence on the south side.
"I think it's very good, a very good idea. I'm sure it will work out well," said resident Helen Page.
Today's ribbon cutting culminates an idea two years in the making. The chief says the substation lends itself to community policing, a concept he distills down to officer-community familiarity via the personal touch.
"I just think it's generally good old commonsense policing, understanding what people want, need, and how you can serve them," he said.
It doesn't hurt that using East Farm Village allows police to widen the blue line while barely affecting the bottom line.
"We not only got it for a song, we didn't even have to write the song, because the owners gave us this room for free," explained East Haven Mayor Joe Maturo. "The only thing we had to do was supply the officer with a computer and a phone line."
It would seem a popular decision for everyone involved, given an automatic police presence in the building.
"The building is handled well," said resident Beth Verneris, "but there's been some people sneaking in and out, I guess, and it's not good."
The substation's manned hours have not yet been determined, but it will not be staffed around the clock, at least not right away.