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2nd city police branch to open in Kings this year

Vicksburg Police Chief Mitchell Dent stands in front of the lot where the second police precinct will be housed, at North Washington Street and King Crossing Road. (The Vicksburg Post/MELANIE DUNCAN)

[01/04/01] A second police precinct, this one on North Washington Street, should be operational by the end of the year, Police Chief Mitchell Dent said Wednesday.

“This will allow the community to connect with officers, and officers can be more familiar with the areas they are working in,” he said.

The second precinct is planned for King Crossing Road and North Washington Street, Dent said.

The city’s first precinct, named the Douglas Park Precinct, opened in May in Marcus Bottom on Halls Ferry Road and Lane Street. The building was designed as a convenience store and was later used as a health clinic.

The building on North Washington Street will be slightly bigger than the Douglas Park Precinct, Dent said. “It will be large enough to house four sergeants, a district captain, two lieutenants and the K-9 officers.”

There are also plans to include a large meeting room. “This will be something the officers can use to meet in and it can be used for community forums and meetings.”

The money for the second precinct will come from the police department’s capital improvement budget of $285,000.

“We are still finishing the paperwork to buy the land, so I don’t have an exact date for when we will break ground,” Dent said.

Dent said he is not ruling out the possibility of a third precinct in the south part of the city, but would rather have a training facility there instead.

“We could have a driving course with a trained instructor,” he said.

The facility could be used by the fire department as well as serve smaller jurisdictions.

“We could offer our services to smaller departments at a minimal charge,” Dent said. “A lot of the small areas don’t have access to the money we do, so it would be a big help to them, too.”

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.