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City of Greenwood

Posted on: May 29, 2017

Police station built in 1967 is updated for tighter security

A 50-year-old police station in Mississippi has undergone a makeover to become more attractive and more secure.

Greenwood is holding a ribbon-cutting and open house on June 2 to reopen the city's renovated police headquarters.

The work cost $3.7 million. Most of it was financed by the city issuing bonds, and $900,000 came from Greenwood Utilities, The Greenwood Commonwealth reported (http://bit.ly/2s0LWJ8).

Police Chief Ray Moore said that before the renovation, security was a problem because people could barge into rooms while officers were doing interviews. He said that was especially dangerous in domestic violence cases.

"You'll be sitting there taking a report, and all of the sudden the husband comes charging in the room," Moore said. "You'd arrest somebody, and the family comes charging in the room."
The new building has card keys for areas that are off-limits to the general public.

The project of reinventing the building went to the architectural firm of Beard Riser Design. The project had a number of obstacles during more than two years, from asbestos insulation to a phone system through which all the city's essential services were routed. Another pressing concern was the lack of public restrooms that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act; that has been corrected.

Moore credits the architectural firm with a "fantastic design that is very efficient" and said the department would be "the envy" of police departments across the state.

Moore said that before the renovation, the department often had other problems, such as water dripping through the ceiling. The city jail was on an upper floor.

"Ain't no telling what was in that water," Moore said, adding that inmates would often deliberately clog the toilets.

When Mayor Carolyn McAdams took office in 2009, she said she was shocked when she visited the police department. Police personnel were "on top of one another," and the building was "like a maze," she said.

"There wasn't any way to go but up," she said. "There was no way to make it look attractive."
Today, the headquarters is a tribute to the police who serve the city, she said: "It is bright and airy and attractive and functional and fits the purpose of their service to the community."
Read the Article on GWCommonwealth.com
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