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Police set up community shop

All that's there now is a bunch of swivel chairs and a few desks, but in a week, Carrollwood will have its second community policing station.

Located in the Fashion Square shopping center, between a travel store and a dry cleaner, the new Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office station will be a place where residents can collect all sorts of information _ from how to spot child abuse to how to start a neighborhood watch program.

It will be similar to the Grand Plaza community policing station, near Fletcher Avenue. Residents will be able to report a crime at the new station or talk to an officer.

There is one difference: The Fashion Square station at 3609 W Waters Ave. will have space. About four times more space than Grand Plaza.

That will benefit both the public and the police, said Community Resource Deputy Jeff Chwalek.

Neighborhood watch groups and police officers will be able to hold meetings. Chwalek hopes to hold seminars on topics such as what to do after a robbery and how to report a crime. Business owners will be instructed on how to deter shoplifting and white collar crime.

Two full-time deputies _ Chwalek and Community Resource Deputy Bill Sanders _ will run the office with the help of volunteers and one part-time officer.

"We're going to have a little bit for everybody," Chwalek said.

Fashion Square's proximity to several large communities _ including Pine Crest, Egypt Lake and Carrollwood _ is what led deputies to choose the site.

The office will open next week, as deputies set up the station. A grand opening is planned for September 1.

Hours will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Evening and weekend hours may be added later.

For information, call Chwalek at 975-2050 or 975-2051.

_ If you have a story idea about Carrollwood, call Babita Persaud at 226-3463.

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