The Town of Oro Valley and its police department cut the ribbon Friday, July 16, on the new OVPD substation located in Oro Valley Marketplace.

The 1920 E. Tangerine Road station is near Verizon, Bike Masters, Tangerine Dental Group and other businesses on the Marketplace's north side near Tangerine Road.

OVPD's motorcycle division is going to operate from the new, 3,500-square-foot facility. Officers on bicycles are also based at the substation. Additionally, workspace for the special events coordinator and a holding cell for processing prisoners are located within the building.

In the future, it would house the emergency operations center for the police department and additional space for administrative tasks.

Just opened, the substation has been 10 years in the making. Planning dates back about three years, according to Chief Danny Sharp.

"The substation is in a very good location — close to the hospital and two major thoroughfares," said Sharp. "It will allow for a more prompt response."

The substation was negotiated with Vestar Development, the Oro Valley Marketplace property management, in 2006. It was designed in December 2007, then built by Vestar in March of that year. Oro Valley was responsible for tenant improvements to the shell Vestar provided; the budget for that construction was approved in July 2008. Tenant improvements for the station cost around $373,000.

Vestar Development is renting the building to the town for $1 a year.

Friday morning's ribbon cutting ceremony attracted members of the community including Mayor Satish Hiremath, Vice Mayor William Garner, and council members Joe Hornat, Mary Snider, Steve Solomon and Lou Waters. Former Mayor Paul Loomis, former council member K.C. Carter and Interim Town Manager Jerene Watson were also in attendance.

Sharp took the opportunity to acknowledge the work of OVPD police commander Aaron LeSuer, who managed building of the substation. "Aaron is tenacious and dedicated," said Sharp, presenting LeSuer with a plaque.

David Malin, senior project manager for Vestar, also recognized the work of LeSuer on the town's behalf. "It's a beautiful plaque, but the town should give you a vacation, maybe a Rolex," said Malin. "It's well-deserved recognition you're getting. He looked out for the town's interests. If it wasn't for the buyers' persistence, it wouldn't be a reality."

Malin announced new companies coming to Oro Valley Marketplace, including a self-serve frozen yogurt shop called Blue Banana Yogurt, a car wash, and Keg Steakhouse.

Hiremath stepped in to acknowledge the work of the police department. "Your contributions are immeasurable to the community," he said. "Continue moving forward and keep Oro Valley the safe unique town that it is."

The ceremony ended on a humorous note when Sharp presented Hiremath with a dollar bill to pay for the first year's rent. Pocketing the dollar, Hiremath extended his hand to Malin, who had been expecting the payment. "These are tough economic times!" Hiremath said to the laughing crowd.

Carrying the mood further, as Hiremath was presented the scissors to cut the caution tape-ribbon he looked around. "Is Loomis here? Paul, where's your mustache?" Hiremath asked, clamping the oversized scissors.

The substation is not open to the public for reporting crime. It is staffed during regular working hours.

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