The Larkfield sheriff's substation, a victim of budget cuts that led to its closure last year, will be back in business Thursday.

The Sonoma County sheriff's substation will have a "grand re-opening" a short distance from its former location, as a result of restored funding from the Board of Supervisors.

The Sheriff's Office was able to cut its rent by 82 percent, or $33,000 annually, by moving the substation to a new location, North County Supervisor Mike McGuire said.

"The dollar savings are not nearly as important as making sure the community is served and Larkfield neighborhoods are safe," McGuire said Tuesday.

Larkfield, an unincorporated community north of Santa Rosa, has a population of 8,884, according to the 2010 census. That's greater than either the cities of Cloverdale, Sebastopol, or Cotati.

"We believe it is vital to have a public safety presence in the community," McGuire said.

There are two other sheriff's substations — in Guerneville and Sonoma Valley.

The new Larkfield substation at 4787 Old Redwood Highway is in an office sub-leased from the Mark West Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center.

Deputies will not be present around the clock, but will use the office to write reports, meet with the public and conduct interviews for investigations, McGuire said.

The most common crimes in the area are petty thefts and basic assaults, he said.

"It is invaluable to have a location that keeps the Sheriff in town. People can access services more effectively and we can do our job more efficiently," Sheriff Steve Freitas said in a statement.

The public is invited to attend the event Thursday in which McGuire and Assistant Sheriff Lorenzo Due?s will speak along with officials from the Chamber of Commerce.

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