In dedicating the new Pioneer Precinct on Saturday, the Salt Lake City Police Department believes it is not only establishing a strong presence on the city's west side but giving officers a proper memorial for those killed in the line of duty.

"This new precinct is the embodiment of our community's resolve to stop crime," Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson told a group of officers, city officials and neighborhood residents attending the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The new precinct, 1040 W. 700 South, will be home for about 110 officers. In addition to interview rooms, the new building has a weight room, shooting range and will house all the department's training operations.

In front of the building is an area set aside with benches where officers and family members of loved ones killed in the line of duty can have a quiet moment alone. The focal point of the area is a new monument with the names of those officers who have lost their lives.

Anderson said the memorial serves as a reminder of both the importance and high price of safety in the community.

"Our safety and our security are not free. They come at a price," he said.

A recent 23 percent drop in crime west of I-15 preceded the precinct opening, he said. With the new building, Anderson said he expects crime to drop even more.

"This is a great day for this police department," echoed Chief Rick Dinse.

Space issues aside, the new precinct was needed simply to establish a strong presence on the west side, Dinse said. "This was sorely needed. This shows a commitment and that we care about them."

Salt Lake District Council member Van Turner, who represents precinct area residents on the council, said he is pleased to have the police presence. The building provides west-side residents of peace of mind they haven't had, he said. "It's a blessing to have the police here."