A temporary police station in Henrico is doing such a great job of cutting crime plans to build a permanent precinct near Brook and Parham Roads are moving forward.
It's just woods right now, but there are four acres on Villa Park Drive that could soon be turned into Henrico Police Department's Central Precinct. The officers will focus mainly on the Fairfield District. For some neighborhoods in eastern Henrico, flashing lights and police tape can be quite common. But Henrico Police Chief Doug Middleton says crime in Varina and Fairfield is down 20 percent, and officers dedicated to that part of the county are one of the reasons why.
Right now those officers are working out of a temporary space at Virginia Center Commons, but plans are in the works to put a third precinct on a piece of land on Villa Park Drive.
It's a short walk to Rose Nails on Brook Road. The people who work and live here say the crime in the neighborhood is no laughing matter.
"Sometimes in this parking lot I'll see tiny little drug deals," said Kenneth Vo, who helps manage the salon. He also lives in the neighborhood behind the shopping center. "I heard gunshots three times just like a week ago," he said.
So hearing the third police precinct may be built around the corner is good news to Vo and his customers.
"They'll be quicker to respond to you and people would feel safer coming over," said Diamond Desouza. "People feel safer, you'll feel okay walking outside."
And if all goes as planned, the police presence will only grow. This project could start in the fall.
Chief Middleton says the department is also adding eight new officer positions this year and the central precinct will also help ease the workload for the other two precincts.
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