by: Wendy Corona Updated:
JONESBORO, Ga. - Lt. Anthony Lumpkin has been with the Jonesboro Police Department for 10 years and says he always recalls the building being called "The Doghouse" and having patching work done to it to keep the squirrels out.
"We patched it up as good as we can, but they seem to get back in there. They find another hole as soon as we patch it up. They'll find somewhere else to go in," Lumpkin said.
That's just one of the problems that plague the Jonesboro Police Department's storage facility.
"Budgets are getting shorter and shorter and we have to preserve and keep what we have right now and so we're doing the best we can," said Lumpkin.
Jonesboro Mayor Joy Day agrees.
"I think from the time we initially bought the whole piece of property, it's been a substandard building. We want to move forward with something of a higher quality. Something more professional for our police department," Day said.
"The main thing we're worried about is the weapons and the uniforms," Lumpkin said. "The uniforms get damp and moldy and mildewed, and the weapons there are rusting out."
To prevent more damage, weapons and ammunition are not stored in a room on the second floor anymore. They're now taking up space in a file room inside the department.
For a couple of hours each week, officers clean weapons to have them ready and that's time that could be spent policing.
Day and the City Council are aware of the hardship and prepared to do something about it.
"More than likely I think the council will decide to build a new facility," Day said.
The vote is April 22.
With rain in the forecast, police are hoping the tarp they've installed to protect the building from rain will hold out a little bit longer.
There's fear one more rain soaking could cause the ceiling to cave in.
Jonesboro police do have a plan for a new storage facility that would have a 50-by-60-foot footprint and be a
one-story metal structure including a classroom, storage rooms, a gym and enclosed garage.
If approved, the building will go up using a special-purpose local option sales tax or SPLOST. The new building could be up within 60 days.