The Aberdeen community just got even safer with the addition of a satellite police station located in the Super City Mall. Opened in September, the station exists to increase police presence and allow the officers to meet and communicate more directly with the public they serve. It has proven especially helpful in establishing relationships with the growing Somali and Karen populations.
The office can also be used to handle reports and investigations with local residents. For many residents in the area, this location is ideal since it is in walking distance. Residents may also feel more comfortable approaching this retail setting instead of the main public safety building. According to Sergeant Keith Theroux, who proposed the idea for the office, there has already been one report filed at the new location, and an officer was able to respond to a theft call in the building within a matter of seconds. “This location is great for a quick response by Aberdeen Police on calls for service on the east end of the community,” Keith said. “It also helps us gather information from people in the area of any crimes or fear they may be experiencing, giving us the opportunity to address them.”
So far, the implementation of the additional office has been a great success. Several meetings with residents Somalian have already been held. “The meetings have been a great success in building relationships with the new residents and promoting an understanding of cultural differences. We are building a relationship so we can share problems and create solutions,” Keith said.
In the future, the police department may consider expanding the use of the office to a community policing center, should the need arise. In addition, programs such as security assessments, community training, Crime Free Housing or Neighborhood Watch could also be managed from this new location.
The Aberdeen Police are hopeful that this office will help them build working partnerships with residents as well as businesses in the area. “We want to have a presence in the area to address any fears and make people feel safe,” Keith said. // — Becca Simon