Architects Designing Bigger, Sturdier Pass Christian Police Station

By Trang Pham-Bui - bio | email

PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - The dispatchers and patrol officers share a double-wide. While the police chief, assistant chief, and investigators are crammed into a small trailer next door.

"We're in a crowded area. Can't wait to get out of here," said Pass Christian Police Chief John Dubuisson.

After three years of waiting, Chief Dubuisson and his staff can look forward to moving out of their tight quarters, and into a new home on Espy Avenue.

"After we sat down with the architect, I think we surprised them.  Because I don't think they were ready for us to walk in with some plans in hand," said Chief John Dubuisson.

"We keep telling them they didn't give us enough input," said Gloria Sanders with a laugh.  Sanders is the Dispatch Supervisor for the police department.  She and everyone in the department had a voice in the building's layout.

The new headquarters will be about 11,000 square feet. That's almost triple the size of the old police station. Instead of a metal structure, it will be built of solid, concrete blocks that can withstand 200-mile-per-hour winds. And during a disaster, the building will serve as the Emergency Operations Center, with its own generator, back-up water well, and sewer system.

"You have a large kitchen area, storage, and large laundry room so you know you got to stay for awhile," said Dubuisson. "This building's going to be self-supporting. We'll be able to function out of this building like nothing happened."

After losing their old headquarters to Katrina, and enduring cramped conditions, the staff here can't wait until December rolls around.

"They turn ground in December, it would be, yeah, that'll be a Christmas gift and a half," said Dubuisson.

"Just to see it get started, that will be motivational for us to have a sense of expectation. That it's happening," said Sanders. "We're very excited. We're looking forward to that day, and I'm hoping it looks just like that picture does."

The city plans to open bids sometime in November. The project is expected to cost between $5 million and $6 million. It will be funded by FEMA and insurance money.