PARKERSBURG - About three dozen people attended Monday's opening of the 13th Street Parkersburg police substation. About a dozen citizens, including members of the citizens police academy, joined about two dozen members of the police force, police Chief Joe Martin and Mayor Bob Newell.
Martin said the plan is to reach back into the neighborhood.
"We are looking forward to seeing some changes," he said.
Parkersburg police officer T.J. Worstell talks with Paul Miller and his wife, Teresa, Monday at the opening of the department’s 13th Street substation. Behind them are police Chief Joe Martin and officer A.D. McGary. (Photo by Jody Murphy)
The substation is designed to serve the neighborhoods between Ann and Latrobe streets and 19th and Seventh streets, Martin said.
Linda Angelo, a local resident who attended the opening, doled out praise to everyone involved in its opening. She said the increased police presence and interactions with officers can only help the area.
Newell noted the area is a restabilization neighborhood.
"This is another step."
Newell also pointed praise at Paul Miller, a resident who was running for the District 5 City Council seat and was defeated in the primary. Newell said Miller was running not just for the sake of getting elected, but to improve the neighborhood.
"He continued to work with the folks here to get the interest in the substation," Newell aid. "It wasn't about elections. He was trying to make the neighborhood better."
Miller said the substation will work well for the community, describing it as a "reciprocal relationship."
He said it's good for police to be familiar and engaged with residents.
Wood County Prosecutor Jason Wharton also attended.
"It will help foster relationships and investigations going forward," Wharton said.
Patrolman T.R. Worstell, the department's designated Community Oriented Police Enforcement officer, will work with volunteers to staff the substation. As the C.O.P.E. officer, Worstell is also in charge of the City Park substation.
"He's our front-line guy," Martin said.
In addition to Worstell, the department will also work with volunteers to staff the substation, Martin said members of the Citizens Police Academy as well as neighborhood volunteers who pass a background check could be be used for staffing.