CAMBRIDGE — On Monday, May 23, Cambridge Police Department announced the opening of a new community office at Bay Country Apartments on Greenwood Avenue.
608 Greenwood Avenue, Apartment 102 will serve as the base of operations for the neighborhood beat officers, bicycle patrol, foot patrol and community police officer Patrolman First Class John Foster.
According to the department, the residents of Bay Country Apartments generally want peaceful living, but some did not want to comply. Complaints were often made about non-residents hanging around and cars of non-residents taking parking space.
Cambridge Police Chief Daniel Dvorak and Sgt. Antoine Patton, Commander of the Community Policing Unit, met with the Bay Country management several times, beginning last year, and recently their request to occupy a unit was approved. With the approval of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, they hope to have the office fully operational by mid-June.
“Our new office gives a sense of hope for the future of our city,” Patton said. “It will reduce crime and give the residents peace. The police presence will allow the citizens and children to take back their community.”
CPD has two additional offices, one downtown on Race Street and another on Pine Street, aimed at making the department visible and accessible to the public.
In addition to the new community office, CPD is initiating the Neighborhood Beat Officer Program to change how officers are assigned to patrol districts.
“Officers have been rotating from one patrol district to another during their work days, and a resident calling the police could have one of any 30 officers from the patrol division respond to a call,” Dvorak said. “Under this program, each officer is assigned to one district which means people are likely to see only one of five officers respond to a call. The goal is that officers will get to know the people in their districts, build relationships, discuss problems in the neighborhood and come up with solutions.”
CPD urges residents to reach out and provide feedback, even if they have reached out before and felt like their concerns were not heard. They are always searching for new ways to strengthen their communication and cooperation with residents.