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Substation is planned

April 23, 2001

Substation is planned



By MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

Ground was broken Wednesday for a police/parole and probation substation in the Jonathan Street area, a project made possible because of teamwork.

"This is a tremendous plus for us," said Cathy Dotson, manager of Bethel Gardens at Jonathan Street and Murph Avenue, where the building will be located.

Dotson credited Carolyn Brooks, HotSpot coordinator, with pointing the way to the $153,185 drug elimination grant that came from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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Brooks said she was notified of the grant possibility three years ago through the governor's crime control prevention program.

"I offered it to Bethel Gardens," she said. "This was a good example of the opportunities that come our way through HotSpot. It's a good partnership."

Also speaking at the groundbreaking Wednesday were Mike Hardy, president of the Bethel Gardens board of directors; Hagerstown Mayor Bob Bruchey; representatives for both of Maryland's U.S. senators; and Lt. Margaret Kline, representing the police.

Hagerstown City Police officers should be working out of the new substation in the HotSpot area by this summer.

The present substation at North and Jonathan streets will be phased out when the new substation is completed.

Dotson said it is her hope that having police and parole and probation officers going in and out of the new building will reduce crime in that area.

The building will have several windows from which police will be able to conduct surveillance, she said.

The building will be 18 feet by 26 feet and will include a lobby and two offices - one for police and the other for parole and probation officers.

The HotSpot area is a 2-square-mile section of the city that has been targeted by a state crime-fighting program since 1997.

Police will occupy the building rent-free but will pay utility bills.

In addition to the substation, the HUD grant will pay for landscaping and a 4-foot-high wrought-iron fence around the 94-unit housing development.

The fence will block the path of people trying to use Bethel Gardens as a shortcut.

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