Police officers next in line for new station
DIRTY AIR VENTS – Detective Deano Harper of the Meridian Police Department surveys the dust and grime inside a dirty air conditioning vent in the break room of the police station across from City Hall. The building is more than 30 years old and Meridian Police Chief Benny DuBose said it will be replaced. Photo Carisa McCain/The Meridian Star
By Fredie Carmichael / staff writer
Sept. 12, 2002
Meridian Police Chief Benny DuBose said plans are in the works to build a new police station to replace the current building across from City Hall.
DuBose said the city administration instructed him earlier this year to start looking for sites to build a new station or find an existing building the department could use for a station.
The current police station is more than 30 years old and, DuBose said, has "many problems." Police have complained about moldy ceilings, dirty air conditioning vents and cracked walls.
Some police officers who work in the building agree. Detective Deano Harper, who has been with the MPD for 11 years, said one of the biggest problems with the building is the dirty air vents.
Harper said people who work at the station complain constantly about sinus problems.
Lt. Johnny Swancey, a 24-year MPD veteran, has spent most of his time patrolling city streets. He said the air in the police station forced him to another MPD position and an office at City Hall.
Swancey saw several doctors. Eventually an allergy specialist in Jackson diagnosed him with idiopathic anaphylaxis a severe allergic reaction that sometimes can be fatal.
Swancey has worked the past two years in internal affairs and no longer patrols city streets. He said he can't patrol because he can't write up his reports or attend meetings at the police station.
DuBose said it's obvious the station has problems and must be replaced.
DuBose said he's not sure when the new station will be, where it will be or how much it will cost.