Police move to new station delayed briefly

Published 5:00 am Monday, May 11, 2009

After two years of waiting to move to their new digs, what’s onemore day?

The Brookhaven Police Department had expected their relocationto be final after moving boxes and furniture all weekend, butMonday morning there were still a few minor issues that needed tobe completed before the department could fully open up operationsin their new office on Highway 51.

Brookhaven Police Chief Pap Henderson said Saturday that thereare always going to be little hitches in the first few weeks of anew arrangement.

“I’m a little nervous,” he said. “I’m praying that everythinggoes right, but I know there will be little things here and thereuntil we can get everything in and running smoothly.”

Officers worked in the early morning heat Saturday morning,loading and unloading a large U-Haul into the new building, withHenderson, Assistant Chief Nolan Jones, Captain Bobby Bell andInvestigator Frank Leggett getting their hands just as dirty asanyone else doing the gruntwork.

“The job’s going to be the same, but it’ll be great to have anupdated facility,” said Leggett. “There’s plenty of room here, andthat will be the big difference. But I also love the idea of beingpart of history.”

Leggett’s enthusiasm was contagious. As the lawmen worked tomove all sorts of heavy equipment from trucks and trunks andtrailers, a sense of anticipation outweighed any exhaustion fromthe manual labor.

“I love the location, and I love the room, because we hadoutgrown the old department,” said Bell. “We’ve got a great setup,because we’ve got room for classes, and a large meeting room – thisbuilding was built to be a police department, it wasn’t turned intoa police station.”

And dispatcher George Lambright, who was still sitting at hisold station Monday morning, said he and fellow officers are readyto have a space that was specifically their own.

“Just having our own place,” he said. “It also makes it moreconvenient.”

Bell said members of the department realize the magnitude of theproject, and are grateful for the city’s being willing to work toget them their own facility.

“We’re glad the chief and the mayor and board of aldermen sawfit for us to make this move,” he said. “I think we have alwaysbeen professional, but this location is a real step up.”

Henderson said the finishing touches should be finished Mondayafternoon if all goes well.

“We’re not a normal business,” he said. “We can’t just shut downfor the weekend to move absolutely everything. We’re so enthusedabout this, and we certainly appreciate the mayor and the boardallowing this for us.”

Henderson said he is planning an open house for people to visitthe new facility, and that it will be sooner rather than later.

“I really want the mayor to see this before he leaves office,and I want him to get the praise he deserves for making thispossible,” he said.