With a name that better reflects the community it serves, the West District Police Station — formerly known as the Hammocks Station — has received a series of improvements.
In December 2015, Commissioner Juan C. Zapata released a call to action for the community to recognize the lack of sufficient police presence in his district.
“In spite of having the second highest call volume and third highest crime rate in the county, the West District has the lowest number of officers per resident, with only one sworn officer per 1,852 residents,” Commissioner Zapata said in the email sent to residents.
Since then, the West District Police Station has gained 20 new officers and expects more within the next few months.
“Our officers risk their lives every day for the safety of our community. So far this year, our West District Police have responded to a total of 66,656 calls, proving that despite being the most understaffed district in the county, our officers never fail to exceed expectations of how our residents should be protected and served,” Zapata said. “My team and I are extremely proud and grateful for all of the work they do, and I invite the community to join me in thanking them.”
Zapata and his team have focused on improvements to the police station as their way to thank the officers for their commitment to the community. Zapata, who represents District 11, has provided the station with both indoor and outdoor enhancements. The indoor improvements include new equipment for the on-site gym, new televisions and chairs, and a newly renovated kitchen including new appliances, flooring, shelves, cabinets and more.
Several artworks from the Miami-Dade County Public Library System’s permanent collection have been exhibited throughout the station’s lobby for the public to enjoy.
More recently, Zapata has placed an emphasis on beautifying the outside of the station. A fresh coat of paint gave the station a more modern and refined look, and new landscaping including red fountain grass, cocoplum, green island ficus and silver buttonwood are brightening up the building.
The majority of these upgrades, totaling over $56,000, were paid for by privately raised funds and surpluses from the commissioner’s district budget.
Zapata’s office honored West District officers with a Police Appreciation Day on Sept. 2. The officers were treated to breakfast, lunch and dinner compliments of Einstein Bagels and Sergio’s Restaurant. They also received prizes from Painting with a Twist, Skyview Tandem and Zoo Miami. Community groups including seniors from the Westwind Lakes Senior Center and Alliance for Aging and students at Sunnyside Academy Daycare also showed their appreciation with “Thank You” cards.