HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The Hattiesburg Police Department now has a new place they can call their own, and they celebrated with a ribbon cutting and tour Monday.
The William "Bill" Russell Municipal Building, located at 300 Klondyke Street in Hattiesburg, will serve as the city's temporary police department.
The facility, which was a former grocery store warehouse, had roughly $3.3 million in renovations done to bring the building up to code and meet the needs of the department.
Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree said this is one thing that will also be a staple in the community.
"It will build and rebuild this community, it's often said when government puts their money into a facility, into a place, it really kind of uplifts that community, it makes everybody kind of take a second look at it, and you can see around how it starts sprucing up, people take better pride in what they have that belongs to them," DuPree said.
Current and former members of the department, city and county officials and other dignitaries gathered for the ceremony.
"It definitely uplifts the spirits and stuff of the officers that are working here, not just myself, but others who have been here as long as I have or longer," Hattiesburg Police Lt. Jon Traxler said. "Even the new officers, because they see what has been put into this building for us to be able to do our job, and again it just shows that the community, the city, stands behind the police department."
There is no set date on when construction will begin on the new public safety complex, but the 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.