Henrico Police sign $1 deals for field offices

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - For less than a cup of coffee, or the cost of a sandwich, Henrico police officers are getting new space. At first, it doesn't look like much: just an empty storefront and a wide open room. But soon, it will be a functioning field office with furniture and computers.

Sergeant Jim Livingstone is with the Community Policing Unit.

"They can put their computers down, have a little bit more area to work with, rather than working just inside their cars," Livingstone said.

Recently, the county signed two deals in the West End. One at the Laurel Park Shopping Center on Woodman Road, and another at West Broad Village, in Short Pump.

Utilities are included, police say. The only cost to taxpayers is the lease: one dollar a year. In a down economy or not, that's a deal!

"A dollar sounds pretty good," Livingstone said.

Police also say the field offices would have another benefit. When the cars are parked here, they'll provide an added sense of security.

At West Broad Village, the office will be near restaurants, family shops, and homes...making it easy for people to feel safe or file a complaint.

"The officers are still in the communities in which they serve, and they're a little bit more accessible to the people of the community," he added.

At Laurel Park, store managers complain about petit larceny, and vandalism. They hope the presence of police cars will cut down on that. And if they ever want to renew that $1 lease, we get the impression they might only have to walk next door.

The leases are signed and these offices should be open in three to four weeks.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved