The Cape Girardeau Police Department's decision to close its Good Hope Street substation makes sense. The substation has helped reduce crime in the area, which in the mid-1990s was nearly out of control. And with the loss of federal Weed and Seed money that was paying the substation's rent and utility costs, the city could not justify keeping it open.
Water damage caused by leaks from an apartment above the substation only hastened the move.
The substation opened in 1998 when crack sales and crime in the Good Hope neighborhood were still burgeoning. Today, much of that kind of activity is gone.
But the crime only moved. There are streets and neighborhoods in the south side of the city -- problems in the 300 and 400 blocks of South Hanover were documented in a Southeast Missourian story nine months ago -- that are problem areas.
The Good Hope Street substation proved that police presence can have a positive effect on a neighborhood.
We hope the city will look for ways to increase police presence in areas of the city that need the kind of help Good Hope got.