Cops request new station as Tysons Corner expands

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Local,Virginia,Crime,Taylor Holland

Fairfax County police fear the planned expansion of Tysons Corner will exhaust their already dwindling resources in the area and are urging officials to build them a new station in what is expected to become the county's new downtown.

Currently, officers from the McLean district respond to calls in Tysons. But officers say their presence around Tysons needs to be bolstered, especially at Tysons Corner Center mall.

And when the planned expansion of the area begins later this year with the arrival of Metro's Silver Line, police say they will be unable to effectively respond to every complaint.

"At the end of the day, the McLean station cannot handle the need going forward," said David Rohrer, Fairfax's former police chief and current deputy county executive.

But the County Board of Supervisors is hesitant to create a new district,

citing a lack of money to fund what's sure to be a high-priced police station in Tysons.

Even though police told the board they expect crime to rise with the influx of new mass transit options and new development, many supervisors said they don't expect the area to see a drastic change in the crime rate.

"It's urbanized now. This isn't something new. There are high-rises there now," said Supervisor Linda Smyth, D-Providence. "These things have always been there."

Other county employees disagreed and recommended the board finance a new "urbanized" police station inside a Tysons office building as part of the area's redevelopment.

A builder could divide the station from the offices in the building, officials said, and a separate entrance could be created so officers and suspects wouldn't have to enter the station through the main lobby. Separate stairwells, elevators, parking levels and electrical systems would be needed to protect the building from threats.

Questions about the viability of such a station divided the board, as members questioned the need for such a facility despite hoping to boost the population of Tysons from 19,000 to 100,000 residents and 200,000 jobs by 2050.

"You just described a very expensive building, and we have a lot of needs in Tysons," said Supervisor John Foust, D-Dranesville.

Others supported construction of the station, expected to take up two to three floors of the office building.

"The question is not whether," said Supervisor Gerry Hyland, D-Mount Vernon. "It's when."

tholland@washingtonexaminer.com

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Taylor Holland

Staff writer
The Washington Examiner