Almanac

News - June 12, 2013

Menlo council approves police substation

by Sandy Brundage

As if the Menlo Park council needed another reason to celebrate Facebook's relocation to the city, the social media company has now chipped in to help open a new police substation in Belle Haven.

Facebook recently volunteered to help fund the substation, and followed through by guaranteeing to cover $2,750 in monthly rent and to pay for renovations to make the facility — to be located in a strip mall at 871 Hamilton Ave. off Willow Road — a place where residents want to drop by.

"It's amazing generosity," Vice Mayor Ray Mueller noted and thanked the social media company for stepping up.

The council unanimously approved a three-year renewable lease for the new substation on June 4. The police department expects to get access to the site by mid-June and estimated that remodeling would take about three months.

How much it will cost the city to staff the site remains to be determined, according to the staff report, but the police department expects to staff it at least part time during regular hours and also have officers rotate through while on patrol.

It's been about 10 years since Menlo Park first announced its intent to open a substation in the Belle Haven neighborhood. The current location at Newbridge Avenue fell short of expectations in both staffing and hours of operation; plans to build a new facility on Ivy Drive fell through due to construction conflicts and the loss of the city's redevelopment agency.

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