The Newton Police Department will have a new office on the south side of town, without an expense line in the budget — and without an officer assigned.
Newton Medical Center has established a satellite office for Newton Police near the Emergency Room entrance.
"After hours that is the area that is busy, and where they tend to have issues if they do," said Erin McDaniel, public information officer for the city of Newton.
With extra activity in that area during overnight hours, hospital officials have been looking for ways to enhance the safety of patients and staff with a visible law enforcement presence. The department will not dedicate a full-time officer to the medical center — officers will make use of the office space as time allows.
“The hospital campus is a high-traffic area, and our officers are there often, interacting with staff and the public,” Police Chief Eric Murphy said. “This partnership will formalize the relationship as well as establishing a workstation for our staff on the south side of town, which will be a benefit to us.”
It will be a place for them to file paperwork and write reports — without having to cross the train tracks that cut Newton in half and might separate an officer from the law enforcement center on E. Seventh Street downtown.
“We are delighted to offer our hard-working officers with a place to complete their required paperwork or to just have some privacy as they work with us on various issues and concerns,” said Val Gleason, hospital president and CEO. “It is our distinct privilege to host the Newton Police Department within our facility.”