Gulfport Police Chief Wants New Police Station

The Gulfport Police Department moved into their building on 15th Street in 1985 when the department had just 81 employees. Today, there are nearly 300 employees and no place to put them.

"This is certainly on the top of the chief's priority list that he is concerned about," said Gulfport Police spokesman Alfred Sexton. "We feel that if we have a working environment for the police officers and for the civilian employees that have to come to work everyday that they're going to have more productivity for the citizens of Gulfport."

What used to be a storage room is now home to three desks where police detectives can work. The evidence room is a converted kitchen with very little space to move around. And the records division is filled to the ceiling.

"We have stacks and stacks of files that really should be filed in a proper manner and we're doing what we can to do that by scanning them in our new computer system to hopefully eliminate the paper trail and reduce down the space that's needed," Sexton said.

But city administrators say right now there are other priorities.

"A new police building probably is not in the budget for the next several years, but it will certainly be a project that we would look forward to in the next five to ten years," said Gulfport Chief Administrative Officer Jerry Smith.

A new police station would likely cost several million dollars. Gulfport police officials say they're hoping for something similar to the public safety building Biloxi recently completed with a price tag of nine million dollars, but they say they're not expecting to see in Gulfport anytime soon.

Before the police department moved into its current location, it was used by Entex. It was built sometime before Hurricane Camille.