Old armory building could turn into new police department

Old armory building could turn into new police department

BLYTHEVILLE, AR (KAIT) - The old National Guard armory could be a new facility for the Blytheville Police Department.

Wednesday the National Guard turned over the building and keys to the city of Blytheville.

For many years the city and police department have discussed ways to renovate or move from the current police department in downtown Blytheville.

The mayor and police chief told Region 8 the armory could be the answer they have been looking for.

The current armory, which has been vacant for many years, is about 10,000-square feet.

Along with the building comes 5 acres the National Guard owned around the facility as well.

Mayor James Sanders of Blytheville said this would not only benefit the police department, but also the community.

"That structure, being built to military specifications, could even help in the event of storms or anything like that and we could even have community rooms," Sanders said.

Sanders said the demographics of where the building sits is also a great place for a police station.

The building sits on the corner of South Division and Byrum Street.

Over the years many schools and state offices have moved to South Division Street, creating growth in the area.

The location is also close to Interstate 55 and Highways 61 and 18, which all flow into the city of Blytheville.

Chief Ross Thompson also told Region 8 he is pleased with the idea of moving the department to this location.

He said it would give the department room to grow and maybe add things like a community meeting room, to help with transparency with the community and police.

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