Clarksville Police adding substation to fight crime - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Clarksville Police adding substation to fight crime

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CLARKSVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) - A new police substation is sending a message to criminals that they are not welcome in Clarksville, Ind.

The substation on Harrison Avenue at the old storm water building opens July 11 at 8 a.m.

It has surveillance cameras monitoring the outside. People can go inside any time of day or night if they need help, and a handful of officers will be working out of the building.

"We're trying to deal with big problems in a small community, and to do that, we have to have a higher police presence," said Clarksville Police Chief Mark Palmer.

The department is ramping up patrols in the south part of Clarksville, and for good reason.

"I've had people say I saw a drug deal or something going on over here, we were broken into, that type of thing," said Tim Hauber, a councilman for District 1 who also lives in the area.

He says the older part of town is rundown as more residents move to newer developments and more rental properties pop up. 

Adding to the problem is Clarksville's location, according to Chief Palmer. It is a small community sandwiched between two larger ones -- New Albany and Jeffersonville. Plus, Louisville is right across the river.

"As soon as you come across that bridge from Louisville, this is the first place you see. And we're getting a lot of people coming through our area. A lot of the arrests we make are non-Clarksville people," Palmer said.

"You're seeing drugs, thefts, a lot of warrants ... people think they come across that bridge, they're safe. Oh we've got a warrant in Kentucky, let's go to the Indiana side." 

The city already owned the building at Harrison Avenue where the old storm water building was, and approved $40,000 to turn it into a police substation.

"Having this facility here is going to allow (officers) to do their reports, do them quickly, process them, and it's a shorter drive here to the jail than it is from our headquarters. You'll have a quicker turnaround," Palmer said.

"It's just a shot in the arm for the neighborhood," Hauber said. "Most people feel safer when law enforcement's around. Hopefully the people who don't feel safe are the ones we're targeting to move from our area."

Clarksville Police hope to have another substation for the northern part of the city in the future. Palmer says he hopes to be able to use the south substation for other reasons, including as a safe child custody swap location.

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