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      City reopens Tuscaloosa East Precinct

      abc3340.com

      Miranda Davis made sure she had a seat for the grand re-opening of the Tuscaloosa East Police Precinct.{} "It's good for the community for this to come back because it's a lot closer to us."

      Davis lives in Alberta.{} A couple of years before the 2011 tornado dismantled the community, it was crime ridden.{} Police{}Chief Steve Anderson says "You had a lot of gang activity going on...a lot of property crime...a lot of drug issues."

      But after the precinct opened, crime began to decline in the area.

      "We saw a reduction in crime because we knew what the problems were and we knew where the problem areas were," added Anderson.

      {}{}{} Then, came the storm.{} The tornado badly damaged the building.{} Officers had to move out to a temporary location.{}

      Now that people are moving back into Alberta...some like Phillip Harris feared crime would return.{}{}He's relieved to see the precinct back open.{}{} "I think its good for the community because it won't take the police that long to get out here."

      That proved true - in more than one way.{} During a tour of the renovated{}facility, we learned how officers from the precinct helped saved lives during the tornado.{} Officer Preston Grammer pulled a woman trapped under a two story apartment building.{} The picture is on display inside the Precinct.{} "The likelihood of us getting to her before something worse happening -- probably wouldn't have made it in time."

      {}"After such destruction, we want to be a focal point of care and concern for the community," added Officer Edgar Hall.

      Davis says that's what the reopening of the precinct means to her...having someone nearby who can respond{}quickly to an emergency.{} "We have kids that need to be protected that walk the street all the time and they won't be able to get hurt."

      "With them [the officers], we have less worries. You can carry on with your business and do what you've got to do," expressed Harris

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