Grand opening for new police substation March 6

       Commander Kurt Pillard is making no promises, but he thinks response times could improve with the opening of the Colorado Springs Police Depart-ment's new Gold Hill Substation on the Westside.
       A grand opening of the new building, including speeches by city leaders and self-guided tours, is scheduled Monday, March 6 from 2:15 to 5 p.m.
       The 28,000-square-foot building, constructed since last April on a 5.1-acre site at 955 W. Moreno Ave., is scheduled to become operational March 14.
       “One of the things that's really nice about the building is that it has easy access to Highway 24 and I-25, Old Colorado City, the downtown and anything south off Eighth Street,” Pillard said in an interview this week. “We're hopeful that will improve delivery responses, though that is yet to be seen.”
       A 30-year CSPD veteran, Pillard became commander of the Gold Hill Division a year ago, and as such has helped lead construction of the facility.
       Things to see at the grand opening will include static displays of equipment, including a motorcycle, a K-9 unit, a helicopter, and (from Homeland Security funds) a new bomb unit truck and mobile command post.
       “We want to show people the things we work with,” explained Tom Albertson of the department's management services. “It's a chance to let the public see what we're doing.”
       A feature that Westsiders may find inviting on a long-term basis is a large meeting room that will be open to community groups
       Scheduled speakers for the grand opening are Mayor Lionel Rivera, Vice Mayor Larry Small, District 3 Council member Jerry Heimlicher, City Manager Lorne Kramer, Police Chief Luis Velez and Public Safety Sales Tax (PSST) Oversight Committee Chair Joe Pelka.
       The project was funded through the .4 percent PSST that voters approved in November 2001.
       The substation will be manned by 198 employees, including 130 police officers, Albertson said.
       In addition to the Westside, the substation's coverage area goes east to Union Boulevard, north to Fillmore Street, south to the Broadmoor and west to Manitou Springs.
       The Gold Hill Division has been part of the Police Operations Center (POC) south of downtown since 1993.

Westside Pioneer article