Ferriday considering new public safety building

Published 10:53 pm Tuesday, December 25, 2007

FERRIDAY — The town government of Ferriday is looking to bring everything closer together with some new facilities.

The town is looking at building a new combined public safety facility that will house both the police and fire departments.

If all goes according to plan, the new facility will be located across the street from Town Hall on the lot where the recently demolished old Ferriday Junior High School stood, Mayor Gene Allen said.

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“The town has a 99-year lease on the gym (on that property) for our recreation program,” Allen said. “The rest of that land is standing there available, and then we would have our fire, police and recreation all together in one place.”

The board of aldermen recently voted to allow Allen to approach the school board about the lease.

If the facility is to be built, it will be completed with grant funds through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Allen said.

The town is already in the process of writing the grant, he said.

The police station is currently located on North E.E. Wallace Boulevard, and the fire station is located on Tennessee Avenue near its intersection with E.E. Wallace Boulevard. Town Hall is located on South Second Street.

Most metropolitan areas are moving toward consolidating their public safety departments, Police Chief Richard Madison said.

“Moving everything into one facility will make services more accessible to people and will streamline our operations,” Madison said.

Dispatches to the fire department often go through the police department, Madison said, and having the two departments together may result in some cross training for police employees.

“We already have some guys who go and help them (the fire department) pull hoses, but with that, if there’s no crime but there is a fire, they can go help with the fire,” he said.

The new facility, if built, would also help save on operational costs, Madison said.

“It’s a win-win for everyone,” he said.