FAYETTEVILLE, Ark — Residents got the chance to voice their opinions Tuesday (Oct. 13) about the new Fayetteville Police Headquarters, which was approved by voters more than a year ago.
Fayetteville voters overwhelmingly approved the building of the new headquarters by 71% in April of 2019, but construction for the facility on Deane and Porter has not yet begun.
The City Council agreed on the design priorities that include a central location for police operations, training and support. There will also be a fire station on the site.
Mayor Lioneld Jordan says it was the city council's idea to host the public input meeting Tuesday night.
“It is my sincere hope that tonight’s input session will lay the foundation for ongoing discussions about the safety of our community and the expectations we all have for that to be done,” Mayor Jordan said.
Fayetteville resident Tommy Seizmore spoke at the meeting and said it's important for people who have had great experiences with the police to speak up.
“I feel like people come and want to live in Fayetteville for the same reasons we all do, it’s a wonderful place and part of that is the fact that you can come to Fayetteville and feel safe,” Seizmore said.
He thinks the police department has done a great job of recruiting the absolute best officers. He says his biggest problem with the delay in building the new headquarters is the safety and security of the current station.
“Besides it being constricted as far as size, those guys are really kind of hanging out in the wind anytime they come and go from their police cars to the building and from the building to their police cars,” Seizmore said.
Leanna Jackson also spoke at the meeting and says this project has to be considered from all aspects, not just a small piece.
“Not all wards were represented whenever this election took place," Jackson said. "That is significant when talking about the whole of our society. I think about our police department and it shifting to the new heart of Fayetteville.”
She says conversations about what will happen to the southside of town where the police station is now are really important.
“We need to make sure we are truly focusing on yes we can move a police station, okay give it bigger space, make it safer but also considering what are we uprooting because that is significant,” Jackson said.
Mayor Jordan says the building of the new police headquarters is on time and on budget.