July 5th, 2012 | City

Yale police to open Dixwell outpost

The YPD, headquartered at the Rose Center on Ashmun Street, above, will open a new community outreach center on the corner of Dixwell Avenue and Lake Place.
The YPD, headquartered at the Rose Center on Ashmun Street, above, will open a new community outreach center on the corner of Dixwell Avenue and Lake Place. Photo by James Lu.

The Yale Police Department will set up a community outreach center at the corner of Lake Place and Dixwell Avenue as part of the University’s broader revitalization efforts along the beginning stretch of Dixwell Avenue.

The YPD will take over the first floor of the three-story apartment building that once housed Broadway Liquor. The creation of the YPD outpost in Dixwell is intended to enhance its visibility in the neighborhood, furthering a strategy of improving resident-police relations, the New Haven Independent reported.

Yale University Properties, which owns the 9-11 Dixwell Ave. property that will house the outreach center, is renovating it after refusing to renew the popular liquor store’s lease. And police officers may not be the only ones arriving in the area: UP, which owns all the properties on Dixwell Avenue between Lake Place and Tower Parkway, is renovating several storefronts there and hopes to start leasing some in August, UP Director Abigail Rider told the Independent.

“We intend to fill the space with retail uses that will activate that stretch of the street and make it pedestrian-friendly,” Rider told the Independent. “We are aiming for uses that complement, but are not the same as, the Broadway offerings — sort of ‘off-Broadway’ space.”

The YPD’s new outreach center will feature a glass front so that passersby can see officers inside and not feel intimidated, YPD Chief Ronnell Higgins told the Independent. At the center, officers will compile reports, report to supervisors and hold community meetings, he said.

This is not the YPD’s first outpost beyond its Rose Center headquarters on Ashmun Street — the department used to have similar centers on Park Street and on Congress Avenue.