CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Corpus Christi is in the process of creating a new model for how they police the city of over 300,000 people.
“The model that we want to move to, that we are moving to with Chief (Mike) Markle, and the mayor, and council’s endorsement is having substations in the various quadrants of the city. Moving the officers out of the central downtown substation,” Corpus Christi City Manager Peter Zanoni said.
That began when the first police substation was opened in Flour Bluff almost a year ago.
“It's very nice to have your police officer residing in the community. They’re more visible in the community. I think that’s a deterrent to crime, and I think it gives the police officers an opportunity to work closer with community members and get familiar with them,” said Mike Pusley, at-large city council member.
In Bond 2022, voters approved $10 million to go toward public safety. Within that, $4 million went to finding a location and design for a substation on the Southside of Corpus Christi. $1 million was set aside to begin looking for a location in the Calallen-Annaville area.
Zanoni agrees with Police Chief Markle picking out West Guth Park. They like it because of its centralized location. Zanoni said the residential area and commercial sites of Annaville have been growing.
Plus, building in a city park will save taxpayers money.
“There’s a lot of residential areas around it, there’s a school right behind it. The Tuloso-Miwday Middle School is right behind it…" Pusley said. "But, one of the primary things is we own the property. So, we won’t have to buy property, which out in that area gets to be a challenge.”
The money was thought to be used to buy land but could now be set aside to go towards the design of the substation. The facility could be anywhere from 5,000 to 7,000 square feet, with 60 officers stationed there.
“Also gives a place where the community can go if they want to talk to a police officer, or safe officer, or a commanding officer that knows the area," Zanoni said. "Substations serve as a safe place to conduct business if there’s a Facebook transaction or online transaction.”
Zanoni said the next step would be to look for design consultants and bring this idea to city council. He said it won't go before city council until after the summer. They will then vote if West Guth Park will be the site of a new police substation.
The city is still deciding on a location for the Southside substation
If the city council agrees with the locations, voters could see the construction of both substations on Bond 2024.