North Idaho

Coeur d'Alene Police interested in East Sherman substation

New substation would help combat crime in East Sherman neighborhood

Coeur d'Alene Police interested in East Sherman substation

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Coeur d'Alene police are looking at putting a substation in the East Sherman neighborhood to combat crime in the area.

The Coeur d'Alene Police Department said they responded to nearly 550 calls for service in the East Sherman neighborhood in 2013. That neighborhood stretches from 8th St. east to Interstate 90. Of those calls the majority were drug related followed closely by theft and vandalism.

The police department says just an increased presence in that area could cut down on those crimes.

However, at Jimmy's Down the Street in Coeur d'Alene, breakfast is on everyone's mind not crime.

"We've had some issue with break-in and some other things but for the most part everything has been fine," said Gretchen Surber, co-owner Jimmy's Down the Street.

Surber added a few more cops on the street wouldn't hurt either.

"Cost is always an issue but if it could be worked out we would love to have their presence here," said Surber.

Coeur d'Alene Police feel the same way and want to put a substation in the neighborhood to cut down on crime. Something similar to Spokane Police Department's COP shops.

"Integrate with the neighborhoods. That's your most successful programs when you're working closely with your neighborhoods," said Coeur d'Alene Police Sgt. Christie Wood.

The Coeur d'Alene Police Department said East Sherman is a hot spot for crime and having late night bars and several homeless outreach centers there increases the call volume, enough so that added patrol won't work.

"We're really quite busy. We are going call to call to call so we don't really have time for that directed patrol that we would like to do," said Wood.

But some residents, like Gabe Robertson, don't think it's needed.

"It's a little over the top. I really don't think it's necessary," Robertson said.

The police department says it can refurbish an existing building for around $30,000.

"My main concern is who's going to pay for it," said Robertson.

The police department said it's researching the cost at the moment but speculated it would ask the city council to help foot the bill.

"We do have funds within the police department that we have not expended, sometimes we have salary savings so that might be an option as well," said Wood.

Police say a substation would also help put a footprint back in the downtown area.

"I think our law enforcement does a fantastic job with what they have," said Robertson.

The Coeur d'Alene Police Department says if everything goes according to plan and they get approval to do this, they could be up and running in a few months.