Although many police substations around the city have been phased out within the last few months due to budgetary cuts, Ann Arbor Police Department Deputy Chief Larry Jerue said the police presence off-campus will not change significantly.
Events such as Hash Bash and the Naked Mile will be handled exactly the same as in the past, Jerue said.
“We still have officers in high schools, officers who attend community meetings and have 10 dedicated beat officers who are foot patrol,” he said. “We still have people in the upcoming Greek life meetings for an informational gathering.”
Jerue said the department will retain the same number of officers while assigning in different capacities.
“Where we used to have four officers in district offices they are now a part of the patrol division with patrol responsibilities,” he said.
Jerue said some of the substations will remain in operation, including the Maynard Street office that was moved from its Mason Hall location last year, although the staffing has changed.
“Now there is a mini-station just opening up in the new parking structure on South Forest. The Maynard Street mini-station will be cut in half more than likely,” Jerue added.
Both substations will be relatively small in size, he said, as there are no set hours or officers on duty.
“It is not operationally like the district offices,” Jerue said. Officers will be in and out of both offices during breaks and during their beats to get caught up on paperwork.
AAPD Sgt. Michael Logghe said the substations were located at various parts of the city so people could receive assistance in filing minor police reports. “The volume isn”t like the main station, but many people utilize them.”
In addition to the substations being closed, the elementary school drug program D.A.R.E. and middle school gang program G.R.E.A.T. were dissolved due to citywide budget cuts.
“We”re trying to figure out different ways to keep the programs alive and going in some fashion so service does not reduce even though staff size has been,” Jerue said. “We would like to get (the programs) back and running so it won”t cost any money.”
AAPD Chief Daniel Oates said community outreach programs like D.A.R.E., beat officers and the flag patrol are critical to the department”s interaction with its constituents.
“All those are important and worthy things,” Oates said.
He plans on having direct liaisons with community members and hopes to create a community council which meets monthly to discuss community issues with the department.
“When problems develop, you have to have something in place whereby the problem is identified, the problem is addressed, and there is follow-up,” Oates said. “My goal is a figure a way to do that kind of community policing.”
At the beginning of the fiscal year, a 10 percent reduction in staff was achieved through early retirements and reassigning former substation officers to other areas of the department.
“Our big chore is to how can we make sure police services aren”t reduced, even though the number of personnel are,” Jerue said.