Cambridge Police Department reopen Pine Street Substation

MD-Pine Street substation reopens_3x

Dorchester Banner/Paul Clipper
Police Chief Dan Dvorak and Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley cut the ribbon at the re-dedication of the Pine Street Substation, with a little help from some local friends. From left, Commissioner Robert Hanson, the Rev. George Ames, Senator Addie Eckardt, School Superintendent Henry Wagner, Commissioners Frank Cooke and Gage Thomas, former Senator Richard Colburn. Below: Chief Dan and “Mrs. Chief” Denise Dvorak enjoying the day at the opening of the Pine Street substation.

CAMBRIDGE — Ribbon cutting is symbolic, and so was the pairing of Mayor Victoria Stanley-Jackson and Police Chief Dan Dvorak at the brief ceremony opening the renovated police substation on Pine Street last Saturday afternoon. With Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley’s hand on one blade handle and Police Chief Daniel Dvorak’s hand on the opposing handle of the scissors, the two snipped the bright blue ribbon promptly at one p.m. The ceremony, hosted by Denise Dvorak, the chief’s wife, was brief, followed by an invitation to guests to enjoy hotdogs and chips, and drink refreshments, but also walk through and see what had been done to the old substation that had sat unused.

The substation was closed more than a dozen years ago because the then-council agreed that it was costing too much money. The problem was that staffing the premises was expensive. At his swearing-in last January, Chief Dvorak said, “I have a lot to learn about Cambridge and Dorchester County,” so he rode with his officers, visited all kinds of groups in the city to discover what people wanted and what was needed. He promised ”to come up with a good solid plan and make the police department great.” The Pine Street substation is an important part of that, and he solved the expensive staffing problem in his own innovative style. He assigned “himself” to spend a good part of the 40 hours a week at Pine Street. “I can do more work outside of headquarters and in the streets.”

As for renovation of the building, Chief Dan got an important member of the force to get it going. Sgt. Antoine Patton, a 14-year veteran of the police department and a cop aching to see change and improvement, got on the job. He organized fellow officers to help repair, reconfigure, and freshen up the substation. Also lending a hand was the chief’s family, his wife Denise and his young son Nathan. Says the chief, “I have ideas and Sgt. Patton sees them through. My quote is ‘Patton makes it happen.” Of course, Sgt. Patton gives the chief all the credit, and this modest duo working together is a blessing for Cambridge.

Mayor Jackson-Stanley strongly supports “the warm and inviting substation that is far more accessible to the neighborhood,” and she also applauds the plans for activities to include children, adults and seniors. Showing support with their presence were Councilmen Frank Cooke and Gage Thomas. The chief’s wife, Denise Dvorak, is also the chief volunteer. “Mrs. Chief” is also an experienced reading instructor, planning story hours and tutoring for neighborhood children. What a happier way of getting ”booked,” with a totally different meaning in police work!

Neighborhood mother Breajah Demby says her daughter Andreka, as well as her friends, will come for the programs. Damita Mack says her children may not have to run down the street in fear. Fred Morning says his nephew was killed on Pine Street years ago and he’s happy to see the substation back, welcoming the deterrence of crime with a visible police presence. Dorethea Johnson agrees. “It’s needed.” Across the street, the busy Elks Club welcomes the substation. Greg Meekins, an officer at the long-established club, says the substation will eliminate or at least minimize any trouble outside their club.

At his swearing-in last January, Chief Dan said, “I will really be able to use my creativity and my skills to make some changes.” In less than a year, he has proved it on Pine Street, with “a focal point for positive change.”

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