Second police precinct planned in Kings

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 13, 2000

Mayor Robert Walker announced plans Tuesday to open a second police precinct, this time in Kings on North Washington Street.

“We want to go where there is the greatest need,” Walker told members of the Vicksburg Kiwanis Club.

“I think the need is greater in the north part of town right now,” he said.

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The city’s first precinct opened in May in Marcus Bottom on Halls Ferry Road and Lane Street. The precinct was named Douglas Park Precinct.

Police Chief Mitchell Dent said he wanted to wait to see the final budget for 2001, which was adopted Tuesday afternoon, before talking extensively about the new precinct.

“I want to see how much money is available before talking about what we will do,” Dent said.

Walker said he hopes to commit about $10,000 to the project. He said the money will come from the police department’s capital improvement budget of $285,000.

“I don’t think this building will be as big as the Douglas Park precinct, but is is important,” he said.

Walker, who wrote in a city newsletter that the precinct was already operating, said a specific site has not been chosen for a more permanent operation, but he speculated about transforming a house or using a manufactured building. The Douglas Park Precinct is in a building designed as a convenience store and later used as a health clinic.

“We don’t need a really large presence right now,” Walker said.

Right now there are about 20 people working out of the Douglas Park precinct. Walker said he doesn’t feel a big staff will be necessary on North Washington Street.

“We just need to have a police presence there so people will be more mindful of the law,” he said.

Another building the city has invested money in on behalf of the police department, is the former home of Ellis Appliance Air Conditioning and Heating on Walnut Street on a tract near the new police headquarters building.

It was purchased in 1999 for $150,000 and will be used for property storage and an indoor firing range.

Renovation on the building was halted in March, when battery acid contamination was found.

An additional $150,000 to complete renovations has been earmarked in capital improvements in the 2001 budget.

Staff writer James Walker contributed to this report.