COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho -

Since the announcement was made in August that Lee White would become the newest Coeur d'Alene Police Chief, he has made his first priority clear.

"We want to once again have a police department that the community is proud of," said Chief White. 

Chief White hopes to accomplish that by building relationships between the community and the police department. He believes there is no better way to start strengthening those ties than by opening a new substation in the southeast region of the city.

"Some of the area and it's residents felt like they didn't have the officer presence that they had in the past, and I'm excited to really redevelop the connection that we had with the community down in that part of the city," said Chief White.

Since the opening of McEuen Field, more specifically the new parking garage, the city has seen an increase in police calls to the area. From it's opening in March until the end of August, the city reported a total of 100 police calls regarding break-ins, graffiti and drag racing. While the city is working on ways to address the issues, the new substation is another benefit.

"You know visibility always makes a difference. It's going to shorten our response times and it will have an impact on crime prevention," said Sgt. Christie Wood.

The substation is only about 1,000 square feet, but the department said that's all they need. Officers will use the substation as a place to take reports and handle walk-ins. Their long-term goal is to assist in community outreach programs, like block watch groups.

The ultimate goal is to protect and serve the entire community of Coeur d'Alene.

"This is a fantastic department with an outstanding and supportive community, and I am honored to be part of such a fantastic organization," said Chief Lee.