The News Service
Brown to provide East Side substation for Providence Police
Brown University will renovate approximately 1,500 square feet of commercial space on Brook Street and make it available free of charge to the Providence Police Department for use as an East Side substation.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Brown University has agreed to provide the Providence Police Department with renovated space for an East Side police substation in support of the department’s new program of neighborhood-based policing.
The new substation will occupy two adjacent vacant stores in a Brown-owned commercial area on Brook Street between Power and Charlesfield streets, about half a block from the University’s own police headquarters. The University will renovate approximately 1,500 square feet for the substation and will lease the site to the City of Providence for a dollar a year. Police will also have the use of a parking area to the south of the commercial property.
“The safety of the Brown community and our neighbors on the East Side is always of paramount concern,” said Brown President Ruth J. Simmons. “This investment in neighborhood-based policing is a positive step toward reducing crime and enhancing the public’s confidence in the security climate on campus, on Thayer Street and throughout the East Side.”
By initiating the neighborhood policing program, the Providence Police Department intends to tie its officers more closely to a geographic area, improve response times and build a closer relationship between police and neighborhood residents. The department has organized the city into nine districts. District 9, for which this substation is being created, includes the area bounded by South Main Street, Doyle Avenue, the Seekonk River and India Point. Officers in each district will be led by a lieutenant who will act as a local chief of police.
“The Providence Police Department is working closely with Brown University to enhance its presence within the area with this new community police substation,” said Col. Dean Esserman, chief of the Providence Police. “It’s important to know that this department will do whatever is necessary to help secure this vital area, which provides so much energy and vibrancy to our community.”
The University is consulting on renovations to the space with Lt. David Lapatin, a 20-year veteran of the department, who will be in charge of the District 9 substation.
An analysis of campus security commissioned by the University from the Bratton Group, recommended that Brown cooperate closely with the Providence Police Department and support its efforts to establish neighborhood policing on the East Side. A number of campus groups participated in discussions about the substation, including staff and faculty members of the Campus Public Safety Committee, leaders from student government and residential peer counselors.
While such a program would be an important step toward enhancing safety on and near the campus, the Bratton Group recommended that University continue to define and further enhance the role of its own police and Office of Public Safety. According to Simmons, consideration of such enhancements continues with a program of further changes to be decided within the coming weeks.