Police open new substation

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 23, 1999

Residents at Williams Apartments on Aldrich Street have another reason to feel safe in their community.

The Natchez Housing Authority (NHA) will hold a grand opening today for the area’s new police substation.

&uot;I think its going to really help Williams Apartments,&uot;&160;said Alan Ingram, executive director of the Natchez Housing Authority. &uot;We think with the security over there, things will improve quite a bit.&uot;

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Williams is one of several subsidized apartment complexes operated by NHA, within city limits.

The substation is funded through a $148,000 Drug Elimination Grant that, since 1994, has also funded the salaries of two police officers to patrol NHA city-properties.

Ingram has good reason to think the substation will lessen crime at Williams.

Just having the two NHA police officers has made an impact, he said.

&uot;Things have really improved since we got the grant,&uot;&160;Ingram said. &uot;We’ve seen a dramatic decrease in crime statistics since fiscal year 1994.&uot;

Since NHA has an empty office-building at Williams it was a good place for the station.

&uot;That was the only available piece of property for (officers) to use,&uot; Ingram said.

Ingram hopes the substation will help people feel better about living at Williams.

Because of Williams’ reputation of crime, the complex is can be difficult to rent.

Often the complex gets its bad name because non-residents loiter there and cause problems, Ingram said.

&uot;A lot the problems weren’t caused by people out there,&uot; Ingram said. &uot;Lots of people who were arrested weren’t even residents out there.&uot;

The substation will serve as a base for the officers and give residents an opportunity to become comfortable with them.

&uot;It will be a place where they go in and do paperwork and visit with the residents,&uot; Ingram said.

Natchez Police Chief Willie Huff agreed that the station will be a good point of contact for residents and a place for them to file reports.

&uot;There is a need for it in the area,&uot; Huff said. &uot;It’s basically going to be a place to disseminate information to the tenants.&uot;

The grand opening will last from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with the program starting around 11:30 a.m.