Katy Magazine News
June 11, 2019
By Addie Davis
Katy Mills Mall will once again serve as a base for the Katy Police Department, staffed with four officers and two vehicles. The substation will have an exterior entrance, and be connected to the interior of the mall through a corridor.
The new substation, in part, is the result of recent discussions at an April 22 City Council meeting. Ward B Councilman Frank O. Carroll III talked about the public's perception that south Katy, which includes the mall, is unsafe. He placed on the agenda “discussion on a plan for the addition of four new police officer positions.”
As of May 1, one officer has been assigned to the substation, however an official opening date for the location has not been announced.
Return to Katy Mills
This is not the first time that Katy Mills Mall served as a base for the Katy police. It also served as a substation for the department from 2002-2011.
The new substation will be approximately 2,000 square feet, making it larger than the first one, Katy Mills General Manager James Ross says. It will be fully equipped with an office area, workstations, detention space and access to patrol vehicles.
In 2011, the city could not adequately man both the main department and substation says councilman Carroll.
After the substation closed in 2011, calls to the police from the Katy Mills Mall and within a 1.5-mile radius increased by 2,000 in 2013 and 3,000 in 2015. According to city data, arrests nearly doubled by 2015,
“We’re not the same city we were in 2011,” says Carroll. “The population has tremendously increased the number of service calls south of Interstate 10. Whether it made sense in 2011, it certainly makes sense in 2019,” says Carroll.
Carroll credits former Katy Mayor Chuck Brawner and Katy City Administrator Byron Hebert for their work on the substation now and added, “I wholeheartedly endorse it. I look forward to seeing it through.”
Mayor Chuck Brawner says false information about incidents in and around the Katy Mills Mall was distributed through social media in December 2018. After reviewing the calls for service made to the Katy Police Department, he concluded there was no evidence of many of the robbery allegations made online, which compromised the perception of safety at the mall.
“We have a perception problem with people believing that the mall is not a safe space,” Carroll said at the April 22 council meeting. “We’ve seen a drop off in revenue from the mall. The mall is the economic engine of our city, and that transmission needs to be fixed.”
“Locating the substation at Katy Mills to serve this area is one tactic being deployed to enhance customer safety,” says Katy Mills Mall spokesperson, Natalie Murison.
Ensuring Safety for All
Opening of the substation will not result in changes to the mall’s security.
“We will not be reducing our security presence now,” Murison says. “This substation is to serve the overall area. We are the central location for this side of Katy, and this location allows even faster responses to Katy Mills, Typhoon Texas, and the future Boardwalk District.”