Hayward Police Department Opens New South Hayward Substation
By Darin Moriki - East Bay Times
Hayward Police Officers proudly open the new S. Hayward Substation
HAYWARD - In the nearly seven years since the city's police department opened north and south Hayward substations, those working in the south office have said they outgrew their small space next to the Matt Jimenez Community Center."Because of the lack of space, their primary office was either out of the police department or out of the north district station as well," South Hayward district commander Lt. Will Deplitch said in an interview.
On Thursday, the police department officially moved out of its former 400-square-feet space on Ruus Road and into more spacious digs along Tennyson Avenue.
"We were fortunate to find this new location on Tennyson Road. The reason for moving up there is to be more of a visible presence on the Tennyson corridor, become more accessible for the community, and be there for the community and business owners," Deplitch said
"We're just really happy to be moving up there," he said.
The new, nearly 1,600-square-foot substation at 677 A W. Tennyson in the Mission Plaza retail center is about a block away from the smaller office in the Matt Jimenez Community Center.
Mission Plaza houses about a dozen small businesses, including Cecil's Famous Burgers, Hong Kong Seafood restaurant and Don Polvoron Bakery.
"It's great to have that resource on the southern part of town, especially along Tennyson Road, where a police presence is extra important, and folks over there deserve that extra attention," said City Councilman Al Mendall, who lives in South Hayward.
"Hopefully it'll create additional visibility for it, so people who are walking by or shopping will feel comfortable to walk in and talk with the officers and staff there about any issues in their community," he said.
Deplitch said he and four other officers, including a police sergeant and a crime prevention specialist, will be based out of the new substation. It will also serve as a base for patrol officers assigned to the South Hayward district to write reports or take a break. The new substation is also equipped to host community meetings.
Plans to move out of the Matt Jimenez Community Center began about a year ago, as plans ramped up to build the Hayward Fire Department's new Station No. 7 on Huntwood Avenue off Tennyson and adjoining Firehouse Clinic.
The clinic was built on city property and run by Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center through a contract with Alameda County. Both the clinic and the firehouse opened in November.
"With the new fire station going in and the new health center, we kind of wanted to be a visual presence on the street, whereas before, we were kind of tucked back," Deplitch said.
"We were really fortunate to be there and to have that spot, but it lacked visibility as far as access goes," he said.
The police department has signed a two-year lease for the new substation and will re-evaluate what the next steps should be toward the end of the lease, Deplitch said.
It has not been decided what to do with the space that previously housed the South Hayward police substation, according to a spokeswoman for the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District. The district operates youth and senior programs out of the Matt Jimenez Community Center.
The new substation will bolster efforts to increase safety along the Tennyson corridor and strengthen ties with the South Hayward community, said City Councilman Francisco Zermeno. He lives about two miles away.
"I always want to have folks see police officers as community participants, not necessarily disciplinarians, and I think this is a great way to do that," Zermeno said.
"It's like having our police over in our schools, because they need to be seen as mentors and counselors, not necessarily somebody who's going to put you to jail if you do something bad -- they'll do that, but to me, that's not the emphasis," he said.