New Police Station Should Be Located In Downtown Core
September 29, 2016
major issue in the coming election is safety in Merced’s
downtown core, as well as in south Merced.
With the addition of 370 more employees planned for the
new UC Merced Downtown Center, the safety of these employees
as well as the safety of all people in the entire downtown
area, becomes even more important.
At the same time, the city intends to move it’s Police
Headquarters even further from the downtown core, to the
old Merced Sun Star property on G Street north of Alexander.
Is this decision wise?
Or is this decision predicated on the basis of what is the
cheapest way to provide a new location for the city’s
Certainly the Merced Police Department needs a new and bigger
building than the cramped quarters on M Street near Courthouse
Wouldn’t it be wiser to demolish the old bowling alley
— the Continental Bowl and Restaurant — at the
corner of 18th and N Streets, across from City Hall, and
some additional space occupied by nearby residential/commercial
If anything, the need for more police safety in the downtown
core and in south Merced, should outweigh the monetary savings
of having the station where there is little crime.
Safety is such a critical concern in downtown Merced, and
that it is part of the reason there is such a high vacancy
factor in the business buildings on Main Street. While UC
Merced may bring campus police to monitor the new administration
building across from City Hall, it’s unsettling to
think the city would depend on that for its downtown policing.
Starbucks’ recent exodus from Main Street to 16th
Street had to have been a result of the homeless camping
on its front door step.
The mere presence of a police station — with police
cars coming and going at all times of the day and night
— will help to prevent crime in the surrounding area.
There is little crime around the police station west of
M Street, and there will likely be little crime at the G
While the city has offered incentives to get new business
to locate in downtown Merced, this is just not going to
happen unless people feel safe.
Let’s rethink moving the Police Department out on
G Street, and return it to the downtown core where it can
really bring a major change to the future of Downtown and