Jacksonville Police May Get New Home

Not much larger than some folks' closets... the lobby at the Jacksonville P.D. is just the start of the space problem.

"This division is basically in this hallway," Assistant Chief Marvin Acker points out the tiny hallway that houses offices of the Criminal Investigation Division.

The 38 employees have been squeezed for years.  As the city grew, their building didn't. Boxes are stacked in offices, under desks, anywhere they can go.

In dispatch, printers and computers are even stacked... little room to write.

Administrative Assistant Nancy Jackson: "We had one main computer then which was to Austin, and now there's 15 or 16."

Files are rarely in one place, sometimes getting the right one means going to City Hall, where there's at least some storage room. The building, they say, is very inefficient.

"It just gets more difficult all the time.", she says.

"This is where the officers come to do their reports. The three sergeants share [one] counter." says Acker.

Sometimes thirty people squeeze in one 20x15 room.  But soon there could be breathing room. A 25,000 square foot building donated to the city by two New Jersey couples needs some work, but compared to the current one, it's spacious.

The owner of the parking lot at the police building is not the city.  Rail lines used to run behind the building.  The owners of the land are nice enough to let vehicles park there.

"Don't just make [the new building] fit what we have now and just maybe expand it a little. It needs to be three times what we have now."

The paperwork making the building city property will soon be complete... paperwork Jacksonville officers can't wait to see.

It's not known how much money it would take for the building to be ready for move-in, and a transfer of police operations there hasn't been approved yet.  Also, some Municipal Court offices might move to the donated building on the northeast corner of S. Bolton and Tena.