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Police station one step closer to being built

Reported by: Jessica Albert
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Updated: 2/27/2014 9:53 pm

TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) -- Tupelo city leaders made what they call an easy decision at their work session Thursday.

"The need for a police station cannot be overstated," Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton said.

Council members said they have done enough talking about this project.

They want to see action.

"I'm ready to break ground tomorrow," Tupelo City Councilman Mike Bryan said.

The department works out of a number of worn down buildings.

"They've been living in boxes in different buildings," Bryan said. "They have been struggling for a long period of time."

Now, they are a step closer to getting plans for their new police station green lit, but not for the original estimate of $8.8 million.

"We're looking into the future," Tupelo Police Chief Bart Aguirre said. "We have to build for the future."

At the work session, the council gave Aguirre a verbal okay for an expanded budget of $10 million.

Mayor Shelton said it has taken about a decade for a council to agree on the budget for the new station.

"The city council was in a unified manner today supporting the project," Mayor Shelton said.
The extra money will give the department space for more offices, a forensic lab and a workout room for the officers.

The building will be made out of better quality materials as well.

"This way we're not cutting any corners," Chief Aguirre said.

The council said the budget increase is essential to the success of the department.

"If we can build a $13 million aquatic center, then I believe the City of Tupelo should not shortchange our police department," Bryan said.

Chief Aguirre said his officers are looking forward to it

"I'm just happy it's helping the morale of the department and everybody is just excited to see the progress," Chief Aguirre said.

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