BPD targeting relocation for mid-April

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Brookhaven Police Department is just a few short weeks fromtheir projected mid-April moving date to a new location, but ChiefPap Henderson is promising the same quick and dedicated servicefrom his officers throughout and following the moving process.

“It’s going to be something for people to get used to for us tobe in a new place, but it will be easier access,” he said. “We getso many complaints right now from people who can’t find a parkingspot.”

One of the major holdups in BPD’s move from their current digsin the building they share with the Lincoln County Sheriff’sDepartment to their new home in the old Mississippi Highway PatrolBuilding on Highway 51 South has been the installation of agenerator that would keep the electricity up in case of a storm orother power outage. But, Henderson said, it was delivered Mondayand now sits behind the building, which has been painted and wiredand is ready to go with a few minor exceptions.

“We got the new radio tower put up last week, and the phone manwas out here the other day and he’ll be started next week,”Henderson said.

Just a few other minor projects still await, like a one-waymirror that will go in the interrogation room. The mirror will makeit possible for police personnel or witnesses to identify a suspector watch an interview go on without having the suspect know they’rethere.

“We knew we had to have it but we didn’t know if we could affordit,” Henderson said Monday. “We got a price on it today and they’llstart on it tomorrow.”

The interrogation room will also have a stationary camera torecord interviews with witnesses and suspects.

Another thing police officials are excited about is a new andimproved evidence room, complete with a sink and a table forprocessing evidence. The room is much bigger than the one BPD isworking with now, and a rollup door and a few windows were brickedin to insure pertinent evidence for important cases will be keptsafe and sound from the outside world.

“I’m really excited about this,” Henderson said. “We reallyneeded this room.”

Behind the building is a manufactured building that Hendersonsaid will be used for storage and for use by visiting agencies likeSouthwest Mississippi Narcotics or the Mississippi Bureau ofInvestigation when they come to town to help local authorities.

And to finish off the look, a “Brookhaven Police Department”sign done by Mid-South Sign and Graphics that matches the two”Welcome to Brookhaven” signs on Hampton Drive and in the corner ofBrookway Boulevard and Cherokee Street will be set in front of thenew police department.

During the relocation process, things that are easier to movewill begin to make their way over to the new office. The trick is,though, to move things in an order in which BPD will never have toactually close down operations.

“Some of these things we’ll move and some we’ll get rid of,” hesaid.

There are some growing pains too, however. Henderson said he andSheriff Steve Rushing have had a good working relationship betweentheir two departments in their close quarters.

“This will take a lot of adjusting to, because it’s been good towork with a department as nice as the sheriff and his staff,” hesaid. “But this shouldn’t affect the way we work together. It’lljust be a project for me and the sheriff to make sure our officesmaintain a good working relationship.”