Nov. 8, 2005 When the lights went out on St. Croix Sunday night, darkening what was supposed to be the festive occasion of the first cruise ship arrival of the year, there was a bright spot in downtown Frederiksted. (See "No lights, No Tourists, No Cultural Bazaar".)
The new police substation on Custom House Street did not have its official opening until Monday, but on Sunday night there was light there, police officers and other emergency personnel were going in and out, and it gave a sense of security to the many people gathered at the end of Ann Abramson Pier.
Creating a sense of security in downtown Frederiksted is one of the reasons, according to Sgt. Thomas Hannah, that the department opened the substation.
He said Tuesday that the substation will enable police officers to respond faster to any incidents in Frederiksted. Officers have had to respond to incidents in Frederiksted from the Wilbur Francis Command Center at Hannah's Rest since the center relocated there in November 2003.
The substation will be home to the department's Beach and Bicycle Patrol Unit. The unit has six ATVs and six bicycles.
The substation, now known as the Wilbur Francis Command Center Annex, will not be a 24-hour substation. However, residents will be able to pick up forms and file reports there during regular business hours.
The substation contains a front desk, a holding cell, a restroom, a business office, a sitting room and a shower.
At a press conference Monday the department accepted two new ATVs donated by S & T Trucking. The bicycles had been donated by St. Croix Foundation.
The police department has signed a year's lease for the space from building owner Robert Merwin.
"We are there for everything that is going to be happening with the pier, the renovated park and the businesses returning to Frederiksted," Hannah said.
He added that since the police department remains short staffed, the department "wants to place its officers strategically."
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