HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Members of the Hattiesburg Police Department are on the heels of moving to their temporary facility, while construction begins on their new multi-million-dollar public safety complex.
"We are very thankful, the environment you work in is very important," Hattiesburg Police Chief Anthony Parker said. "You feel better when you come in to a facility that you don't have to worry about water, or pipes bursting or air conditioner going out, so the police of the Hattiesburg Police Department are very excited about moving to this facility."
The current police department, located at 701 James Street in downtown Hattiesburg, will soon transition to Klondyke Street.
"In this facility everything is new, new electrical, new plumbing, new h-vac, heating and air, everything is new, so that's something we're not used to," Maj. Hardy Sims said.
For decades, the police department has been housed in the old Methodist Hospital.
"That building was something that wasn't built as a police department, it was just turned into one, you have rooms that are small, rooms that have bathrooms in them, just ordinary hospital rooms and that's not what our officers need," Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree said.
The temporary facility, which was a former grocery store warehouse was donated to the city, and cost roughly $3.3 million to renovate and upgrade. DuPree said it is smaller than the current department, but it is still better than what they had.
"It's less square foot than where they are now, but it's more efficient because its built to be exactly what they need," DuPree said.
The construction of the new public safety complex will begin when the department is fully moved, which could be sometime around March, according to Parker.
The new facility is projected to cost is around $44 million, which was discussed by city council on Jan. 5, an increase from the previous $32 and $38 million.
DuPree said he and Chief Parker would like the officers to tour the renovated facility before they move in.