BPD begins process of moving

BPD begins process of moving

BLYTHEVILLE, AR (KAIT) - A proposed half-cent sales tax and bond issue involving the Blytheville Police Department was approved by voters Tuesday night.

In unofficial numbers, the half-cent sales tax was passed by a 633-400 margin (61.2% to 38.8%) while the separate bond issue was approved by a 644-369 vote (63.5% to 36.5%).

In late April, BPD received a 48-hour notice from the Arkansas Department of Labor to vacate and cease operations from a portion of their building due to hazardous conditions.

They were also given six months to completely move out of the old building.

According to Blytheville Police Chief Ross Thompson, they've had multiple contingency plans leading up to the votes.

BPD has had a mission to move into the city's old National Guard Armory Building.

Thompson said they're excited to finally began renovations of a new Justice Complex.

"We're obviously very thankful to the community for everybody that came out and voted," he said. "Not just those who voted yes and supported us in this effort, but even those that challenged us with different views and stuff; because that just made us step up and it made us better. In the end, we're going to use these resources to help everybody in the community."

Through the bond issue, the Blytheville Police Department was given $2.75 million to help build the new Justice Complex.

However, Thompson said they plan to add in a piece of history from their old building.

"There's a few things architectural that we have here and see every day that I want to maybe take with us, and incorporate that into our new justice complex," he said. "Taking a little bit of the tradition with us just to show the progress that we've made along the way."

Thompson said they plan to begin renovations on the old Armory as soon as possible.

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