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Are the Harrisburg substations sub par? - abc27 WHTM

Are the Harrisburg substations sub par?

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

Do you know where your local Harrisburg police substation is located? It's a question we asked residents around the city, and the responses may surprise you.

Harrisburg was set to unveil the city's latest police department substation Tuesday when at the last minute, Mayor Linda Thompson canceled the press conference. However, our cameras got a peek at the new spot.

Ironically, the newest substation is located inside a place where you can get, well – subs.

Sandwiched between donuts and dairy sits an alcove with a desk and chair featuring a sign that reads "POLICE." The substation is inside the Hess Express gas station at the corner of Market and Cameron streets.

Some we spoke with thought it was odd to come to a place where you can buy lottery tickets, a pack of gum, and possibly write a police report. Because the press conference was canceled, no added information was given about the open date of the substation or what the purpose may be.

This got us to thinking: What about the existing substations around the city?

Currently there are four substations located in Uptown, Midtown, Allison Hill and Hall Manor. The Hess Express would make number five.

First is the Police Athletic League headquarters, which sits in the Uptown substation located in a small strip mall at Sixth and McClay. Sure enough, PAL President Officer Jenny Jenkins was inside hard at work on events.

PAL kids are said to go in and out of the office here rather frequently.

In Midtown, the somewhat stealthy substation can be found inside HACC's Midtown Campus at Fourth and Harris streets. Last April Mayor Thompson had a large press conference with bike cops, street officers, ranking members of the force along with HACC officials and security announcing a partnership.

Around 1:30 p.m., the desk was empty and the lights were off. To their credit, there was a note that recommended people with an emergency to dial 911 if there were no officers present.

The fact there was no sign posted at the building alerting residents or students of the substation inside begged the question: Does anyone know anyway?

So we asked several people outside the Midtown Scholar if they knew about the Midtown substation.

Rich Mahoney said, "No, I don't. Nope."

Damond Cowan responded, "Over here? I didn't know that. I didn't see no activity."

Willie Hawkins echoed, "No. I'm not too familiar with that."

Darlene Tucker: "Nope, I never knew that," she said.

Tucker did know about the Allison Hill substation near 15th Street, though she admitted she was unsure of its purpose.

"People being harassed, beaten up, shot, robbed... Ya know, but you never see no cops," said Tucker.

Harrisburg Police also have a substation near Manor Hall, which some say they knew but never used. Cowan stated he would like to know more about the substation program and feels the city does not do enough to inform the public of its purpose and use.

"They might as well as let everybody know so they'll deter a lot of things," he said.

Darlene Tucker felt the substation program was a waste of time if they are not properly staffed.

"No, I don't think it's doing any good at all," said Tucker. "If you're not going to put officers there then shut it down."

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