Located at 2025 S. Madison Ave., a new Mesa Heights Neighboring substation for the Yuma Police Department was officially opened by the Housing Authority City of Yuma (HACY) on Thursday evening.

The substation, which was opened as part of the Crime Free Multi-Housing Program, is in what used to be a maintenance shop within the housing complex, that HACY employees renovated.

It features three computers, one with a docking station that officers can use to connect the laptops from their patrol vehicles to, a conference table, a restroom, a microwave, a coffee maker and a small refrigerator filled with juice and water.

“A lot of time and effort went into turning this into what it has become,” said Michael Morrissey, executive director for the HACY. “We want to establish and strengthen our relationship with our residents and the police department. We want to make this place safe for everybody.”

Morrissey made his remarks during a small social outside the substation, where HACY officials, employees, several police officers and residents all intermingled during a cookout, adding that it was a true community and police partnership.

HACY Asset Manager Joe Diaz said the substation was designed as a place where officers can not only interact with residents, but also as a place they can come and do their work, instead of having to go back to the main station.

“We will have staff making sure it remains stocked and gets cleaned on a regular basis,” Diaz said.

Diaz explained that the goal is to keep illegal activity out of the apartments so that the residents have a nice, safe place to live, and putting a substation in the area is a good way of doing that.

According to information provided by the HACY, law enforcement agencies across the country have seen success in programs such as these in reducing crime, drug activity, and gang activity.

This is the second substation that HACY has opened in its housing complexes. The first one was opened at 655 S. Magnolia Ave. in February 2018.

Although the substation will not be open all the time, Diaz said residents, or any community member for that matter, are encouraged to stop by and visit with officers when they are on-site.

Lt. Michael Wilcher, who spoke on behalf of the police department, thanked the HACY for creating the substation, and told the residents that police can’t do their job without the help of the community, so the substation definitely will be utilized.

He added that officers are also looking forward to interacting with the residents at the complex more often.

James Gilbert can be reached at jgilbert@yumasun.com or 539-6854. Find him on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/YSJamesGilbert.

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