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Central Point police add new office

CENTRAL POINT ' East-side residents can now visit the local truck stop to fill up their gas tank, make a run for the border and report a crime to a police officer.

Pilot Travel Center in the 1600 block of East Pine Street is the new home of a Central Point police substation, officials announced Tuesday. While the station is not initially being staffed by officers, it does provide police with a base to write crime reports, meet with citizens and be more visible on the city's growing east side, said police Lt. Chuck Newell.

One of our problems is the city is geographically separated by Interstate 5, Newell said. It makes it very difficult for our officers to get around.

Regular operating hours at the substation may be established in the future, police said in a news release.

Newell said the substation, a 9-by-12 room at the truck stop, will be especially helpful to police when special events are held at the Jackson County fairgrounds on Peninger Road. New commercial and residential developments on the city's east side also increase the need for police presence there, he said.

East-side residents and business owners recently met with Central Point officials to discuss traffic-congestion and crime problems in their neighborhoods. Police determined Pilot would be a logical place for the new substation, Newell said.

Pilot, which recently remodeled its business in the wake of a May fire that damaged the structure, is allowing police to use the building at no cost. The business is also home to a Subway sandwich shop and a Taco Bell fast-food restaurant.

Newell said Central Point police are now searching for a location on the city's west side for another substation.