Quincy Police say that despite recent street crimes in and around the new police substation in Quincy Center, the number of crimes actually has dropped from last year.
The substation opened at 1461 Hancock St. on Sept. 8. According to police records, from the first week of September to Oct. 5 of this year, the number of street crimes in Quincy Center fell to 24 from 32 a year earlier.
Crimes included in the data included assault, breaking and entering, disturbance, larceny, vandalism, and drug arrests.
Though it's only been a month out of the gate for the new station, the 33 percent improvement bodes well for the department, Quincy Police staff said..
“I was pleasantly surprised it dropped like it has,” said Quincy Police Chief Paul Keenan. “Putting increased visibility in the area is working.”
Some have criticized the new station, saying that it’s same old, same old for Quincy Center, and that the office is closed more often than it’s open. But Community Policing Lieutenant Tim Sorgi said the main point of the station isn’t to be just like the big one on Sea Street.
“It’s not staffed to run out of if there is an incident. These is a place for the public to have access to write reports, and be in an area that has an element of crime we’re trying to stay on top of. It’s more about having a presence in the square,” Sorgi said.
He added, “Very few crimes will be solved or people will be caught as a result of that office front being there. It's more…for people to have an access to police away from 1 Sea Street, and for a place for the police to be when they aren’t out about in the area.
“But [the intent was] to have them to be in the area, and be seen. The idea was never to have them sitting in the office,” Sorgi said.
Overall, it’s a benefit that has cost the department very little money. Street-Works Development LLC, which is in charge of the downtown makeover, has given the space to the department rent-free, and the desks and technology were all donated.
Quincy police said they would be monitoring the crime statistics as things move forward, quarterly for the substation, and weekly for more serious events.
“We believe it is [helping],” Keenan said. “But when we get a better snapshot, we’ll see.”