Senator Wicker examines the condition of HPD's workspace

By:Karrie Leggett

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM)- Hattiesburg officials and Mayor DuPree are bringing in the big wigs for help to build a new police department.

"We invited him to come to actually witness for himself, to see for himself the conditions that these people have to work in," said Mayor DuPree.

Senator Wicker took a tour with Mayor DuPree and police Chief Frazier Bolton to see the deteriorating conditions of the department's building and the need for help.

"The Mayor and the Chief are absolutely correct, there is no question about the need, and clearly it is going to be very hard going forward for the city of Hattiesburg and other municipalities around the state the meet the public safety needs of its citizens without some additional upgrades. There is no question about the need," said Wicker.

And that need comes with a healthy price tag.

"We are looking at between 12 and 15 million dollars," said DuPree.

Senator Wicker believes that in order for the Hattiesburg Police Department to get the money that they need, a whole different fund would have to be created.

"We need to be creative, but we are going to have to create a whole different fund in order to do this. There are ways that the federal government can already help the city of Hattiesburg perhaps in other needs that might free up money to be used for this purpose. We just need to put our thinking caps on," said Wicker.

The uncertainty of the funds doesn't match up with the urgency of the deadline for a new building.

"The timeline is as quick as we can", said DuPree.

DuPree says once they receive the federal funds that he hopes the new police station is built in the same location of the current one.