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Bloomington Residents Show Concern With Possible Police Substation

Bloomington Police Department

Many Bloomington residents are concerned about the proposed police substation in a now-vacant house on the City's west side.

Residents were able to ask questions during the regular Bloomington Police Chief focus meeting Wednesday night, but some feel they didn't get all the answers.

The house at 828 West Jefferson Street would act as a substation, but could also be bought by a family through the West Bloomington Housing Collaborative for around $79,000.

Resident Phillip Dick said he is concerned about the high price. 

"It won't bring that kind of money. If somebody does get a mortgage for that, they'll have to have more income than they really need to buy such a thing," said Dick. "If they go to sell it, they'll never get their money out of it."

Dick said he thinks Police Chief Brendan Heffner was disrespectful to say people opposing the substation aren't law abiding citizens.

Heffner did apologize during the meeting and said he hopes to lower crime in the area with the substation.

Some residents are upset that the substation could be approved within the next two weeks. Louis Goseland said even though the City Council postponed the decision in December, he doesn't think there has been enough time for conversation.

Goseland said there are still two different ideas with the stakeholders involved. 

"On the one hand, the Bloomington Police Department continues to refer to this as a substation. Mid Central Community Action calls this a community house," said Goseland. "For me, there is obviously some kind of disconnect as to the purpose of this facility. Meanwhile, still just a few houses away, I still haven't been asked what I think about this."

Goseland also said putting a substation in the neighborhood without having each resident involved in the discussion would be a violation of community policing. 

The City Council is scheduled to discuss the property on January 23. 

Mike joined GLT's staff as a student reporter in February of 2016 having worked previously as a reporter at Illinois State University's student radio station, 103.3 WZND. He acted as a director for the WZND newsroom for two years. Mike was also seen as a reporter, producer, and anchor at TV-10 News. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism in May of 2017 before starting his post-graduate career with the Public Affairs Reporting Masters Program at University of Illinois Springfield.