A new Union police substation is up and running that will provide quicker response time to the eastern areas in Union.
The new substation is located on the campus of East Central College and was approved earlier this year through an intergovernmental agreement. Officers began using the building this month.
The station is housed in a white frame building that housed the college’s business office during the renovation of the George H. Buescher Hall.
“This allows officers to stay in this area to do reports,” said Police Chief Norman Brune. “We try to have an officer in the east part of town as much as possible.”
ECC President Jon Bauer added that the new substation will create a greater police presence on campus.
“The enhanced visibility is reassurance to both employees and students,” he said. “This is something the staff here is very in favor of.”
That building had been used for the college’s GED program and was once a child care center. There are no other police substations in Union at this time.
Brune said there will be work stations for officers to write reports, interviews and a break room.
He added that the substation will not be an “open office” and there won’t be any officers stationed there. He said it would not be a jail.
“The school has been very helpful getting this set up,” Brune said.
He noted that his department has worked closely with ECC Director of Facilities Mark Eaton.
The school furnished the substation with excess desks, chairs and other items.
ECC also provides designated parking spaces for patrol cars and will allow signs to be erected on campus.
“This is the natural outgrowth as work closely with the city,” Bauer said. It is very common practice that the city and college work together — it is good for public entities to have a good, open relationship like we have.”
The city is responsible for any maintenance and improvements on the building, separately metered utilities, and has provided a certificate of insurance with the college listed as an additional insured party and pay all operational costs incurred by the police department.
ECC officials have said that the substation would serve as a deterrent and provide quicker response time to campus incidents.
The substation also would serve as the department’s base of operations for any special event on campus that would involve Union police.
The facility also could be used in planning for the future. As things continue to grow, congestion is going to build as it did prior to the Highway 50 widening project, officials have said.
Police will not be able to enforce speed limits on campus, except on Audrey Lane, which was adopted by the city. Any crime that is committed will be handled the same as it is now.