Harrison Police Department looking to move to new facility due to safety concerns

HARRISON, Ark. - The Harrison police chief said it's hard to pinpoint the most significant problem with the current police department.

For one, it's pretty cramped.

"Our department's doubled if not tripled in the last 32 years. And we're in the same space that we were then," said Chief Chris Graddy.

Some of the old jail cells were converted into offices.

Then there's the leaks.

And the fact that the building is falling apart after enduring many disasters, from flooding, to the phone company exploding behind it years ago.

"A nut and bolt and washer type system that is holding the walls in place," Graddy described it.

Cords and wires run all over the place because obviously technology has evolved since the 50s.

Then there's the safety issue, like when officers have to bring in someone they arrested from the back alley into the department.

"It's completely open. Anybody could hide in any number of locations back there," Graddy said.

And they also have to brave the elements.

"If it's raining, snowing, sleeting. You're trying to control a prisoner, trying to open the door, get the prisoner inside safely, get yourself inside safely," the chief said.

So the department is looking to move to a new facility, along with the fire department and city hall.

"The police department and the fire department had a half-cent sales tax passed in 2014. And that was strictly for fire and police to help supplement their equipment, and eventually build a new facility," he said.

Graddy said the department already had some money saved up from that to put toward this project.

"We hope to pay for at least half of the building up front in order that we don't have to finance very much money to finish it," he said.

The police chief said they want to build a new building off Industrial Park Road. But they don't have a concrete time on how long it will take or an exact amount of how much it will cost just yet.