The Board of Supervisors Tuesday authorized the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department to initiate a search for a site to establish a new station that would serve multiple communities within the Riverside metropolitan area.

“This would mean a dramatic change to improve services,” Supervisor Kevin Jeffries said. “It has been a long time coming. It’s going to be very expensive, but a facility is badly needed in that area.”

Under the proposal, sheriff’s officials will coordinate with staff from the Department of Facilities Management to locate a 19,000-square-foot space to situate a sheriff’s station focused on serving unincorporated Corona, El Cerrito, Gavilan Hills, Lake Hills, Lake Mathews, Temescal Valley and Woodcrest, all of which border the southern rims of the cities of Riverside or Corona.

“Response times can be a challenge,” Jeffries said. “Currently, for Lake Hills, deputies are coming from Jurupa Valley. For Temescal Valley, they’re coming from Lake Elsinore. For Woodcrest, they’re coming from Perris. You’re talking about communities with 60,000 to 70,000 people.”

Department of Facilities Management officials said there are no feasible county-owned properties in either the First District or Second District to place the new station, so the objective is to find a property to lease.

The future building would have to accommodate 70 sheriff’s personnel, officials said. A 5- or 10-year lease would be likely, and the county would require about 10 months to prepare the facility.

Once proposed sites are scoped out, sheriff’s and facilities staff will be required to return to the board with additional requests.

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