Thursday, July 9, 2009
City celebrates new police station
By SUE WATSON
Holly Springs officially opened its new police station on J.M. Ash Drive June 29 with a ribbon cutting, tours of the facility, and food and cold drinks.
Police Chief Robert Pearson welcomed guests, including members of the current board of aldermen, Mayor Andre’ DeBerry, newly elected aldermen, justice court judge Earnest Cunningham, county prosecutor Shirley Byers, justice court clerk Monet Autry, constables Don Cothern and Johnny Fitch, public works director Don Hollingsworth, architect Michael Jones, Tim Prewitt, construction administrator with JBHM, city clerk Belinda McDonald, and many city employees and friends of the city.
The new police station was the child of the outgoing board of aldermen, who DeBerry said had worked on the project since 2005. It was made possible through joint efforts of Williams Medical Clinic owner Dr. Kenneth Williams and the city of Holly Springs. The city borrowed about $3.5 million to purchase the property and remodel the medical clinic building into a modern police station.
DeBerry said he hopes the new facility will improve morale. It is a first-class facility and ideally located close to new commercial development on the south side of the city, he said. Response time will be greatly aided to all areas of the city, DeBerry said, with the location set next to so many connector roads and streets going in all directions.
Alderman Russell Johnson was all smiles at ribbon cutting.
“It is really impressive,” he said. “We deserve it. We came from the old jail to MI College Campus to here.”
Outgoing alderman Nancy Hutchens believes the new facility will both improve morale and help retain police officers.
“There are not many towns our size who can say they have a facility this nice,” she said. “I think this will be a big boost to morale for our officers and will be a retention tool. I think environment is important to retention.”
Hutchens said in recent years the city has constructed a new fire station and had done some work on the old police station but eventually had to rent facilities.
The conditions under which employees work is important to the employees and to the city, Hutchens said.
“There are things we have to have and employment is one of them,” she said.
What does Hutchens see on the horizon for Holly Springs?
She believes a modern sports complex would do a lot for the city and the area in terms of quality of life and image.
“I would like for us to look at recreation and we could go in with the county to build a nice sports complex,” she said. “I would like it to be a joint venture.
“Hopefully, the medical complex will grow and be a boost to the commercial growth and help to grow the tax base.”
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