Aiming to reduce police response times for west valley residents, the Metropolitan Police Department will formally open a new police substation Tuesday.
The new substation — which acts as a hub for patrol officers within a specific, bordered area of the valley — is at 8445 Eldora St., near Durango Drive and Sahara Avenue. It is expected to reduce response times because its opening means Metro will have more officers responding to calls in the west valley.
Metro chose the west valley for its new substation because the entire west valley was previously split into only two different substations, with Charleston Boulevard acting as the single border between the north and south side of Metro’s entire west valley jurisdiction.
“It’s very difficult for a bureau commander to have an effect on crime with that vast geography,” Sheriff Joe Lombardo said.
By comparison, the east side of the valley is divided into about five different area commands, one exclusively for the downtown area and one exclusively for the Strip. Metro’s jurisdiction in the east valley is also smaller than Metro’s jurisdiction in the west because the confines of North Las Vegas and Henderson are not part of Metro’s east-valley jurisdiction.
“With the return of construction, we’ve had a definite expansion in the northwest and southwest valley, which means an increase in calls for service,” Lombardo said, alluding to the need for the new station. “The byproduct of that is officer safety. It’s very difficult for officers to back each other up if they’re traveling from across the county.”
It’s unclear how many more officers will be covering the west valley, though. Although the new substation’s 101 assigned officers will help cut down on coverage area for the existing northwest and southwest valley substations, Metro had to pluck a few officers from each valley substation to staff Spring Valley, Lombardo said.
Still, Lombardo said, “We do have sufficient staffing to outfit the station.” He added that the new substation’s opening purposefully coincides with a few upcoming police academy graduations, including one the first week of September.
The new substation is in an existing Metro building, previously used as a traffic bureau. The substation’s coverage area spans 31 square miles, bordered by Charleston to the north, Interstate 15 to the east, Flamingo Road to the south and Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area to the west.
Though some officers began their first Spring Valley shift at 10 p.m. Friday, police are hosting a grand opening event at the substation 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.
“We’ve been working on this since the beginning of the year,” Lombardo said.
Contact Rachel Crosby at email@example.com or 702-387-5290. Find @rachelacrosby on Twitter.