<b>OPEN SESAME:</b>  Mayor Helene Schneider officially opens the SBPD’s first drop-in center.

Tyler Hayden

OPEN SESAME: Mayor Helene Schneider officially opens the SBPD’s first drop-in center.

Cops Fly the Friendly Flag

SBPD Opens First Community Policing Office at Franklin Neighborhood Center

Thursday, October 24, 2013
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Flanked by an elementary school and a corner-store hangout popular with Eastside gang members, the Franklin Neighborhood Center on Montecito Street is now home to the city police department’s freshly minted Community Policing Office. An informal drop-in center staffed by a rotating mix of officers ​— ​many of them Spanish-speaking ​— ​the space is meant to engender a sense of trust and access sometimes lost in the intimidating atmosphere of police headquarters.

The one-year pilot program, explained Sgt. Riley Harwood, was hatched in partnership with the city’s Parks & Recreation Department, which offered the $10,000-a-year property for free. Its three rooms ​— ​complete with leather couches, coffee and snacks, and artwork created by Franklin Elementary School students ​— ​have already been visited by area residents voicing concerns and asking for advice about driver’s licenses, their children, and interactions with gangs, Officer Adrian Gutierrez said.

Taking pains to note the center is not a police substation ​— ​meaning no one will be booked or interviewed at the location ​— ​Harwood said if all goes well with the Eastside office, the department may look to the Westside for another space. Right now, Gutierrez is holding court at the center and making announcements about its opening on Radio Bronco. Chief Cam Sanchez said he’ll be scheduling office hours for walk-in visitors, as well.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Back in the "good old days" when I was on Council, one of my various failed initiatives was to get the cops to do a bicycle patrol substation at the Casa Esperanza Homeless shelter. They weren't interested at the time, but that would have had an interesting effect on the area, as will the use of the Eastside Library. Good thing: good idea.

drdan93109 (anonymous profile)
October 27, 2013 at 5:16 p.m. (Suggest removal)

we've been begging for a substation on the Westside for years; and at one time there was one right there near the corner of Micheltorena and San Andres [it was next to the current small barbershop]. Bring it on, and add some bicycle cops, too, LIKE WE USED TO HAVE.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
October 27, 2013 at 5:51 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Will the...(don't say it)..REAL DrDan please stand up?

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
October 28, 2013 at 2:55 a.m. (Suggest removal)

well, dolphin, they say all you marine mammals are like identical peas in your pods, so SB has a plethora of DrDans...the original is this DrDan93101 version which exists in our SB heterotopia of sun/sand/surf/politics/buffoonery...

DrDan (anonymous profile)
October 28, 2013 at 6:19 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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