MENIFEE (CBSLA) — A new police station opened Wednesday in Menifee after one year of construction, bringing in a new era of law enforcement in the city.

The Menifee Police Department began service Wednesday, officially opening its station. (Credit: CBSLA)

By the time the station is fully staffed next month, there will be 44 officers, 16 ranked supervisors and 17 support staff members.

Department officials said it was not easy to open a new station during a pandemic, but they believe the community will be better because of the effort.

“First and foremost, our purpose here is to create and deliver an experience where people feel unified, engaged and safe,” Lt. Abigail Valle, of the Menifee Police Department, said. “We apply that to the citizens of our community, to the residents, to the public. We apply that to ourselves.”

The city previously contracted with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department for law enforcement, but said having its own police department was expected to be more cost effective.