If you live in or frequent the Fosters area, you’ll soon notice a heavier law enforcement presence. But it’s not because there’s more crime.

The Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office is officially opening their Fosters substation after months of preparations, and they’re hosting an open house starting at 6 p.m. this evening.

The substation is housed in the shopping center just off County Road 10, right next to Foster’s Foodland.

Tuscaloosa County Sheriff Ron Abernathy is calling the addition a huge asset to the Fosters community and the deputies who serve there.

Burglaries have been a concern in the area, since most people drive into town for work, Abernathy said. Criminals depend on no one being home in rural areas like Fosters during the day. Having the substation means there are eyes on Fosters at all hours, and it also cuts down response times in the area.

Abernathy said the No. 1 thing he’s looking forward to is a stronger relationship between the department and the Fosters community.

“The individuals that who in the communities, they’re the ones who know what’s going on,” Abernathy said. “There’s only 100 deputies out here, so there’s only so many of those. We count on the citizens being our eyes and ears for information, and it’s imperative that we have a great, cooperative relationship with every community.”

The open house tonight features free hot dogs, along with a look at the sheriff’s office helicopter and a medical unit. If you live in the area, Abernathy said it’s a great opportunity to get out and meet with the men and women responsible for protecting Fosters.

This is the fourth sheriff’s office substation.

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