Edmonton police close 3 community stations

Edmonton police are closing three community stations as of today.

Westbrook, Eastwood, Beverly stations little used, say police

Edmonton police are closing three community stations as of Monday.

The Fairway station in Westbrook in southwest Edmonton as well as the Beverly and Eastwood stations north of downtown are all closing as part of an effort by the Edmonton Police Service to put more officers on the street.

Police say the three stations were the least used in the city.

Just two per cent of complaints to police in the Beverly and Eastwood neighbourhoods last year were lodged at those two stations, said deputy police chief Brian Simpson  

"More interaction actually happens outside the office for the most part than in that office," he said.

The move is supported by most in the communities.

"There's not a bigger deterrent than seeing a cop on the street — they see them, they go away," said Norm Aldi, president of the Beverly community league.

"The police station isn't doing policing, they're taking reports," he said. "The guy standing behind the counter takes reports. How is he helping me with the druggies and the hookers who like to go up there?"

Police will continue to use the Beverly and Eastwood stations, but they will no longer be accessible to citizens.

No other stations are slated to close, Simpson said.

With files from CBC's Trisha Estabrooks