The Mobile Police Department completed a consolidation of precincts June 17, moving from a five-precinct operation to four. The consolidation had been in the planning stages for six months and was expected to transition seamlessly.
According to a press release, the move will have no effect on the number of officers employed by the Department and will allow each precinct to operate from its own facility. Before, the Department operated five precincts from four buildings. Precincts 2 and 4 each operated from the Western Administrative Complex on Museum Drive.
In his November 2013 strategic plan, Chief James Barber stated “eliminating Precinct 5 and dividing the territory between Precincts 2 and 4 can be accomplished with no adverse impact on operational effectiveness but a significant positive impact on efficiency.”
He also highlighted three immediate crime prevention purposes which would be realized from dispersing the precincts: accessibility to the public, facilitating a speedy shift change and geographical accountability.
Today, Precinct 4 operates from the former Precinct 5 facility on Airport Boulevard at Dawes Road. Precincts 1, 2 and 3 continue to serve from their previous locations. The consolidation will eliminate the cost in operating an additional precinct and will assist in providing existing officers with the proper training, equipment and compensation needed to operate a successful Department, the press release said.
“This will effectively put more officers in our neighborhoods and less behind desks,” said Chief Barber.