D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - Police protection in D'Iberville got a boost on Friday. The newly formed police department moved into its first police headquarters building.
Windy Swetman gave elementary school children a tour of the new police station.
"How many of you wear your seatbelt?" he asked the group.
The children were the same age Tony Myers was when the 3rd Avenue building was the D'Iberville Library.
"We'd come check a couple of books out every now and then," Myers remembered.
A couple of decades, and one ribbon cutting later, the same building is the new home of the D'Iberville Police Department. And Myers is a patrol sergeant.
"It's a very nice building compared to what we had. It's definitely an upgrade," he said.
The D'Iberville P.D. got Harrison County to make cosmetic changes to the interior of the building. The renovations turned what was a home for library books, and then senior citizens, into a complex that could handle the needs of about two dozen sworn officers.
Keith Davis is a police captain.
"It's a God send. We were crammed in that trailer for, well ever since Hurricane Katrina," he said.
The trailer Captain Davis mentioned was in the middle of the D'Iberville recreation complex. It was a nice place to launch a police department in 2007. But it quickly became a tough place to run the day-to-day operations of this new police force.
"When you cram 26 people plus countless volunteers in a double wide trailer, bad things happen," he joked during the ribbon cutting ceremony.
However, with the help of the county and FEMA, Chief Wayne Payne believes good things are starting to happen to D'Iberville and its seven month old police department.
"It's more of our identity, the police department's identity. It's a building. And that's what is great about it," the chief said.
Harrison County owns the police station building. According to Supervisor Swetman, the county leases it to D'Iberville for a dollar a year. The renovation work inside the police complex cost taxpayers about $20,000.