Posted by Colby Rogers
CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - A Chesterfield police station is on the list of public safety items that may be on the chopping block for next year's county budget.
County administrators are proposing a cut of around $3.5 million from public safety funds, including a police sub-station off Hull Street in the western part of Chesterfield.
Some residents and police say closing the station would be a step back for the county.
"This area is growing so much. We have another community going in up the street - Magnolia Green, Foxfire, Fox Croft - all the new areas that are coming," said resident Janice Jennings, "and I think we needed a police station in this area."
If the county decides to close the police sub-station for the 2010 budget, officers may have to come to come from the main police station 15 miles away to respond to calls in the area.
"I almost feel like they're downtown and they might as well be because it's not very close to our community," Jennings said. "I think it would be tough for our neighborhood to adjust to not having them here after we have had them for a few years."
Chesterfield officials say closing the facility would save chesterfield residents around $65,000, but even the Fraternal Order of Police is fighting the proposal.
"I think it's better to have the men and the women out here for the citizens, so if they need a police officer we are here," said Kevin Carroll, President o f the Chesterfield Fraternal Order of Police. "I think what you lose in the long run is greater then what you lose to keep the station open."
Other public safety cuts include getting rid of a fire safety education program in schools, not replacing computers or police light bars and holding open 28 full time vacancies.
The Board of Supervisors will vote on the final budget April 15.