WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - After nearly eight years of construction, the city of Waveland's new public safety complex is almost finished.
Officials say it's been an uphill battle to bring the project into the home stretch but when finished the facility will have many public usages.
Progress on the facility, which will be called the Donald Dorn-Johnny Longo Public Safety Complex, was halted in 2010 due to a construction dispute, say city leaders.
Work on the structure continued earlier this year and is expected to be complete sometime next month.
The new building will house both the city's police and fire departments. Right now, the two departments are sharing a double wide trailer on Coleman Avenue.
"It's difficult," said Waveland police officer Joey Richardson. "It's a very small place. We still have to conduct daily operations with just a lot less space. We literally work very close to each other."
The new 12,000 square-foot building, which will include plenty of office space, secured rooms to lock up evidence, and holding cells for both juveniles and adults, will provide officials with much more space.
"We are going to hold people for a short time only just until they can go to the jail," explained Waveland Police Chief David Allen.
The state-of-the-art building will double as the city's Emergency Operation Center during times of crisis and will be equipped with security features comparable to those found in many banks.
"Security is paramount in this building," said Allen, adding that a swipe-card system will be used throughout the facility.
"The entire front of the building will be monitored by cameras 24-7," he said.
According to Davis, residents will be encouraged to use the new facility as a secure meeting place, citing examples such as exchanging kids during a custody battle or purchasing an item off the Internet.
"Meet them here because we are going to be recording their license plates and what they look like," said Allen. "If they don't want to meet you here, you don't need to buy it. We plan to use this for as much community outreach as we can."
City leaders say the $4.7 million building could be ready for move-in as early as the middle of next month.