The Carlington Community Police Centre is in limbo after its doors at Westgate Shopping Centre were abruptly closed.
“I went in on a Wednesday morning and was told we're packing up tomorrow,” says John Hunton, a volunteer with the centre.
The centre operated out of the mall's donated space for over a year.
“It was a great location. People with problems would drop-in,” says Hunton.
Community police centres provide a level of comfort to area residents, says Regional Councillor Wendy Stewart. They have their finger on the pulse of emerging problems, she adds.
The space near the food court has been rented to a commercial merchant, says Stewart.
Westgate's mall management could not be reached for comment.
Stewart and the chair of the police service board, along with the centre's volunteers, are looking at several locations to relocate including the Caldwell and Bellevue area, Merivale Road and again at Westgate Shopping Centre.
There's a sense of urgency to relocate quickly while its volunteer force is still strong, says Stewart.
The centre's volunteers worked with the police to follow up on crime reports and to encourage participation in crime prevention. They were available to provide information on programs such as Neighbourhood Watch as well as conduct home security tests and child fingerprinting.
The new location will be announced later this month.