It has come to the attention of many interested citizens that there have been some new local governmental projects in process over the past several months. These projects are a direct result of public safety initiations that were passed in 2014. Up until this point, police officers have had to drive from their respective districts to downtown Winston-Salem to report for duty. After reporting, they then travel back to their districts to patrol the streets and complete their duties as officers of the law. This method has been irksome and economically illogical for the Public Safety Committee as a whole. Changes are being made to the Piedmont Triad law enforcement structure in an attempt to improve efficiency. A bond referendum approved and voted for by the North Carolina public was passed in 2014. This bond allowed 31 million dollars to be contributed to public safety. Barry D. Rountree, Winston-Salem’s Chief of Police since 2013, the Mayor, and the city council decided to use the money to decentralize patrol headquarters.
The solution Barry D. Rountree, Mayor Allen Joines, and the City Council have come to is as follows: to establish a police station in each of the three districts. District 1’s station will be located on North Point Boulevard; the District 2 station is open and operational on Waughtown Street; and, finally, the District 3 station is in the last stage of construction on the corner of Somerset Drive near South Stratford Road. Authorities state that the building is drawing to a close on all fronts and the public safety units will be relocating shortly.
The mission the new structures hope to accomplish does not end with the obvious added convenience for the serving officers. Captain Chris Lowder, who will be holding an authority role in the District 3 station, says that he is “excited about this new opportunity.”
“I look forward to more involvement between the citizens and officers in each of the districts…including information-sharing, crime prevention, and problem-solving,” Captain Lowder remarked. He has confidence that the citizens of the Triad will be comforted to see that these law enforcement branches are now their neighbors, commercially and residentially. Lowder looks forward to improved relations and connections between the population and their respective district stations, now that they have become more physically accessible.
District three, near South Stratford Rd., will include 88 personnel, including a captain, lieutenants, sergeants, a street-crimes unit, a district investigator, and an administrative assistant. This building will become the 24/7 home base for the District 3 officers; it will be the location where they will report for work and be cleared by their supervisor. Captain Lowder will serve as the commander of the District 3 Police Station. He will allocate resources aimed toward problem-solving initiatives, oversee the District patrol operations, as well as manage the supervisors and officers assigned to the District. The Captain is excited to reorganize the public safety system in District 3 as it transitions from the downtown location to a more local setting.
Captain Lowder shows his enthusiasm about being more visible and present by welcoming the community to visit their new stations and to become even more involved in the work of law enforcement. Finally, he thanks the countless members of the city population for voting for the bond package that made this all possible. He also commends the Mayor, the City Council, and several key city officials for their guidance in making the decentralization idea a reality.
North Carolina authorities and the community in the Triad are intent on kindling a sense of security and police availability for citizens. The tireless efforts of the Public Safety Committee, City Council, and Mayor Allen Joines are evidence of a commitment to benefitting the community for generations to come.
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