Kings Co. Sheriff's and their new substations

March 15, 2013 12:35:10 AM PDT
Three of the four new substations are in existing buildings. If the county were to build brand new ones it would cost several million dollars, instead the sheriff's office uses the buildings for free.

The sheriff says the new substations allow the deputies to be out in the community more.

While children play nearby, parents and teachers can know that soon, a Kings County Sheriff's Deputy will call the Kings River-Hardwick School his or her office.

Larry Fritz of Kings River-Hardwick School District said, "Of course we're glad to have them here because any school would be glad to have the presence of sheriff's officers on their campus it's just peace of mind."

Kings River-Hardwick is one of four new Kings County Sheriff substation locations. The other three are in Stratford, this old county fire station on south 10th avenue and Parkview Middle School in Armona.

Sheriff Dave Robinson says all the new locations make geographic sense

Robinson said, "The Kings River-Hardwick School makes sense because it's on the north end of the county where we do not have a substation. Armona makes sense because it's more centrally located in the county but it's not in the city of Hanford."

Just a few weeks ago deputies responded to Parkview Middle School in Armona, where one student stabbed another student. Sheriff Robinson says the fact that the sheriff's office will soon have a substation on the school campus could curb future crimes.

"You can never predict the future but obviously hope that by more visibility and closer interaction with the schools or other community functions that you do have some crime prevention aspect that's involved."

Robinson stresses that no suspects in a crime will ever be brought on campus unless the suspect is connected to the school.

A key part of making the new substations successful is computers. Previously, patrol deputies who worked in the new substation areas had to come back to headquarters to fill out reports, which meant they spent less time out on patrol in the community.

Robinson said, "The nice thing is technology has come far enough now where we can get computers set up where they can literally do the same thing at a substation that they can somewhere else."

The substation and the one in Stratford are already open. The ones at the two schools will be open by mid-April.

The sheriff will be asking the board of supervisors to fill four frozen deputy positions to help them staff the new substations.

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