FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KFSM) — Plans are moving forward for the new Fayetteville Police Department after voters approved a sales tax extension in April.
However, it will take a few more years to complete.
“If the police aren’t safe than how will I be safe here in Fayetteville,” said Fayetteville resident Julia Sampson.
For now, the department is making sure they are doing everything they can to keep their officers safe, especially after one of their own was recently killed.
The back parking lot where Officer Stephen Carr was killed while sitting in his patrol vehicle has a low level of security with no gate, dim lights and access to the sidewalks just five feet away.
“Security is key and it’s something that with the recent event with the execution of the police officer, it strikes a deep deep cord in me,” said Sgt. Anthony Murphy with FPD.
With the new Fayetteville Police headquarters not being complete for the next three years the department is figuring out ways to secure the safety for their officers at the current location.
“We’ve also done studies the last two days around the police department, it’s called SEPTED. It’s a certification that a couple of our officers have where we can go out to businesses and make their business safer and a harder target so to speak to break in or an incident that just occurred,” Murphy said.
The new location for the headquarters hasn’t broken ground just yet but it will be on the corner of Porter and Dean street and will be equip with the state of the art facilities.
“The architects that are doing it have done several police departments," Murphy said. "They are up to date on all the security measures that need to be taken. I think we will be on the cutting edge of security when it comes to the police department.”
Fellow officers know nothing they do will bring back Officer Carr but moving forward they want to make sure they aren’t targeted in their own backyard again.
“Obviously the suspect had determination and was going to carry out this heinous event," Murphy said. "Whether it was behind the police department or somewhere else so who knows if extra security would have stopped him but it definitely would have had to slow him down and he would have had to think twice about his actions.”
Community members agree that they want their officers safe and protected.
“It’s certainly an awakening and a dawning on us now as we try to move forward and recover from this tragic tragic event,” Sampson said.